Ex-Nigeria Vice President Atiku Abubakar

Ex Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, at an address in Abuja, declared his intentions to run for President in the 2023 presidential election. 

What he’s saying 
Atiku said that the 2023 election is critical in determining the path Nigeria would follow in years to come. “It is a referendum to decide whether we want greatness or continuous destruction,” he said. 

  • Atiku becomes the third political figure to officially declare interest in the 2023 presidential elections under the PDP after Aminu Tambuwal and Bukola Saraki.
  • The former vice president said that his government will focus on unity, security, economy, education and devolution of power to the desecrating units. He also promised to reduce borrowing as such practices pose a threat to future development. 

The big picture 
Preparations for the general elections are gaining momentum with President Muhammadu Buhari signing the Electoral Bill 2022 into law, political parties fixing dates for primary elections and the electoral commission releasing election dates. 

  • The stakes for next year’s presidential election are higher than ever as the country is facing difficult economic challenges, political division and insecurity concerns (defined by kidnapping and killings). 
  • There have been calls for Nigerians to consider the competence of presidential candidates other than engaging in a business-as-usual approach in the 2023 election. 

What to watch 
Many Nigerians would look to the ruling party, All Progressives Congress (APC), and their fierce opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) following their dominance in the political space. 

  • In PDP, Atiku Abubakar and other political figures, such as Aminu Tambuwal and Bukola Saraki, have begun the journey to becoming the party’s flag bearer. 
  • For APC, former Governor of Lagos State, Bola Tinubu has declared his interest but faces rivalry from Rochas Okorocha. 
  • Amongst those being encouraged to run for the presidential seats are Vice-President Yemi Osinbanjo, former president Goodluck Jonathan and Yahaya Bello. 
  • Moghalu Kingsley and Omoyele Sowore are second time aspirants also vying for the presidential seat.