Nigerian political parties in the past two months endorsed their presidential flag bearers at a national convention in which the party delegates elected the eventual winners. While Nigeria’s ruling party, the All-Progressive Congress (APC) crowned Asiwaju Bola Tinubu as the party’s presidential flag bearer, opposition party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) elected Alhaji Atiku Abubakar. Third force pioneer and first-time contender, Peter Obi got the Labour Party presidential ticket after Pat Utomi stepped down. 

Other presidential candidates include Senator Rabi’u Kwankwaso of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP), Mr. Dumebi Kachikwu of the African Democratic Congress (ADC), and Omoyele Sowore of the African Action Congress (AAC), etc. 

But as with every election, there can only be one winner. And other participants in the election count their losses. 

Biggest losers 

Governor Nyesom Wike of PDP 
Gov Nyesom Wike of Rivers State was the first runner-up in the presidential primaries of the PDP with 237 votes. The governor participated in the party’s presidential election at a time when talks were intensifying about the possibility of power returning to the southern region of the country after almost a decade of northern rule.

  • Nigerian political analysts believe that Gov Wike would have clinched PDP’s presidential ticket if not for the last-minute withdrawal of Gov Aminu Tambuwal, who then declared support for eventual winner, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar. 
  • Gov Wike again lost a potential running mate ticket to Senator Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State after being rumored to be the party’s first choice. 

Ahmad Lawan of APC 

  • Nigerian Senate President, Ahmad Lawan of the APC, contested the party’s presidential ticket and secured just 152 votes. The lawmaker with the number of votes earned himself fourth place in the party’s presidential election result. 
  • Senator Ahmad Lawan after he lost the election claimed to be the APC’s candidate for Yobe North senatorial district, although reports say that the lawmaker didn’t contest in the primaries monitored by INEC officials back in May. 
  • Bashir Sheriff Machina had solely contested the Yobe North senatorial district and secured the party’s ticket with 289 votes. INEC would, in the final list to be released in September, declare the valid candidate. 
  • This controversy has led many to name the Senate President as one of the biggest losers in the presidential primaries if he loses the senatorial ticket. 

Godswill Akpabio of APC
Godswill Akpabio was due to contest for the presidential ticket of the APC but withdrew his ambition to support the eventual winner, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu. But similar to the controversy surrounding the Senate President’s senatorial claim, the former governor of Akwa Ibom has had his senatorial claim for Akwa Ibom North-West (Ikot Ekpene) district rejected by INEC. 

  • Godswill Akpabio won a rerun primary for the senatorial district but the resident electoral commissioner for Akwa Ibom, Mr. Mike Igini, dismissed the results, stating that neither were its officials present at the rerun nor was the commission aware of a rerun. The case is a developing story. 

Rotimi Amaechi 
The former Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, resigned his position as a minister to contest in the APC presidential election. The first runner-up took the step following an order by President Muhammadu Buhari for all FEC members with political aspirations in 2023 to resign their positions. 

  • The former minister who got 316 votes in the party’s presidential primaries holds no unknown political position at the moment. 
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