Nigeria is less than 75 days from the 2023 general elections; one of the toughest presidential elections in its recent history as, since the country returned to democratic rule in 1999, it has contested the presidency between two major political parties. In the forthcoming elections, the presidential seat is closely contested by leading flag bearers including Peter Obi of the Labour Party, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the All-Progressive Congress (APC) and Rabiu Kwankwaso of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP). 

The National Democratic Institute and National Republican Institute of the United States of America predicted that due to the intensity of this election, the 2023 presidential election may be so close that it goes into a runoff.

To battle the nation’s long history of election fraud, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is introducing two key technologies, including the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) and INEC Election Result Viewing Portal (IREV). While BVAS is an authenticator device that identifies and accredits voters’ biometric details, including fingerprints and photo identity, IREV is a live portal that enables the public to view election results in real-time. 

Furthermore, INEC uploaded its voters register online for the public to vet and criticize the electoral body of any election related misdemeanor just to prove its stance of fairness. 

State of play 
The presidential candidate of the New Nigerian People’s Party (NNPP) and former governor of Kano State, Rabiu Kwankwaso is one who has hinged his campaign on the core issues in the country including unemployment, security, etc. NNPP’s flag bearer who abandoned the PDP to pursue his presidential ambition like Mr Peter Obi, is an experienced politician with grassroots political capital in many parts of north Nigeria.  

However, like Peter Obi, Kwankwaso’s NNPP faces the challenge of not having an incumbent governor as his party member. The former governor, as a result, opted to reach electorates by establishing individual social contracts with them. According to a party spokesman, Kwankwaso is in the process of “condensing the 162-page blueprint into pamphlet size to be translated into various languages for the electorate to use as checklist for our performance, when we form government in May 2023.”

Just as Kwankwaso reverted from a merger with Peter Obi earlier in the year, the presidential candidate has debunked claims that he would be stepping down for PDP’s Atiku. The party reveres itself as one to beat in the 2023 presidential elections. 

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