Four of the leading presidential candidates in Nigeria’s 2023 race were guests at the 62nd Edition of the Annual General Conference of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) in Lagos State. While Mr Peter Obi of Labour Party (LP) and Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) were present, Rabiu Kwankwaso of New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) and Asiwaju Bola Tinubu of the All Progressive Congress (APC) were both absent.
Other presidential candidates at the occasion include Mr Dumebi Kachikwu of the African Democratic Party, Adewole Adebayo of the Social Democratic Party and Peter Umeadi of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).
The guest speakers spoke in the panel titled ‘Democratic Transitions in 21st Century Nigeria: 2023 and Beyond’.
Highlights of their speeches
Alhaji Atiku Abubakar
Atiku Abubakar of the PDP disclosed that his administration would hand over federal universities to the individual state in which they are present. The former Vice President further stated that his administration would also fight the security situation in the country. Atiku Abubakar said he would unite the country by involving members of other parties in his leadership as his principal President Olusegun Obasanjo did in 1999.
Asiwaju Bola Tinubu
The presidential candidate of the APC Bola Tinubu, represented by his running mate, Kashim Shettima, stated that he and his principal (Bola Tinubu) would replicate the successes of their times as governors of Borno State and Lagos State, respectively. Kashim Shettima added they are committed to solving the concerning issues of Nigeria from their first day in office.
Mr Peter Obi, the former governor of Anambra state and pioneer of third force party, qualified Nigeria as a failed state. The presidential candidate stated that Nigeria needed a bold transition from a mess to a highly secure state. And from a consumption country to a manufacturing one. He noted that this transition is the way to address the forex crisis in the country.