Nigeria is bracing for one of the toughest presidential elections in its recent history since the country returned to democratic rule in 1999, they have contested the presidency between two parties. For the 2023 presidential elections of February 25th, there are at least three leading presidential candidates, namely Peter Obi of the Labour Party, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the All-Progressive Congress (APC). These big guns are setting aside their past collaboration to win the ultimate national seat. 

With less than ninety days to the presidential elections, here is how the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declares a winner:

Nigeria’s next president would be elected using a modified two-round system. The two-round system (TRS), also known as runoff voting or second ballot, is used where voters cast a single vote for their preferred candidate. 

Election in the first round of a TRS method means that a candidate received 25 percent of the cast vote in at least 24 of the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). In a case where no candidate surpasses this threshold, INEC would conduct a second round of voting between the top and the second candidate, who received a plurality of votes across the highest number of states in the country. 

What you should know 
In all the previously conducted elections since the return to democracy (1999 – 2019), the winner has fulfilled the request by receiving over a quarter of the votes in 32 states and the FCT. There has been no need for a second round of elections. 

The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, recently announced that 93.5 million Nigerians were registered to vote in the 2023 general elections. The figure totals the 12.29 million Nigerians who completed the suspended Continuous Voter Registration exercise (CVR) and the 84,004,084 voters already in the existing register.  

Elections should hold elections in 176,846 polling units in the 774 local government areas of the country, with the exception of the regions submerged by flood. Also 18 presidential candidates are vying for the highest office in the country. 

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