By Abimbola Ogunnaike
Nigerians will be going out to the polls today, Saturday, 25 February, 2023, in their millions to elect the country’s next president for the next four years.
They will decide the fate of 18 presidential candidates who are jostling to replace the incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) who is completing his second term in office.
The standard-bearers: Bola Ahmed Tinubu, APC; Atiku Abubakar, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP); Peter Obi, Labour Party(LP); and Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, New Nigerian Peoples Party (NNPP); among others, had within the period of the campaigns, traveled to every states in the country, including Abuja, to sell their programmes to the electorates.
Nigerian voters will also be electing members of the 10th National Assembly who will be representing their senatorial districts and federal constituencies.
Ahead of today’s election, which is the seventh electoral cycle since 1999, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) revealed that 87, 209,007 out of the 93, 469,008 registered voters have collected their Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) and are expected to cast their ballots.
The commission had also confirmed receiving cash from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for election logistics, thereby dousing fears over its inability to access funds due to the cashless policy introduced by the apex bank.
Thegazellenews.com reports that INEC had lifted the ban on presidential campaigns on September 28, 2022, with the 18 participating political parties traveling to every states in the country to sell their candidates to Nigerians.
Out of the lot, four are seen as frontrunners: the ruling APC, PDP, LP and NNPP.
While Tinubu is running on the slogan of continuity as the candidate of the party in power, Atiku, a former Vice President, is asking Nigerians to give him and his party another chance to rule the country and bring about much desired change Nigerians
On the other hand, Obi, who sees himself as new kid on the block and face of the Nigerian youths, promises a radical departure from the past, which according to him, the APC and PDP had manifested in their poor management of the country’s economy.
On his part, Senator Kwankwaso had revealed his 152-page document titled, “My Pledges to You,” promising to listen more and allow Nigerians to decide how they are going to govern if voted into power.
To emerge as president, one of the candidates must receive a majority of the votes cast and at least 25 per cent of votes from 24 of the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).