Eighteen candidates have stood to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari, who completes his second and final four-year term on May 29, 2023.
While the majority of the 18 candidates began campaigns to promote their candidacies, the February 25, 2023 presidential succession contest appeared to be a race between four leading candidates.
They are former Vice President Atiku Abubakar of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP); former Governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, All Progressives Congress (APC); former Anambra State Governor Peter Obi of the Labor Party (LP) and a former Kano State Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP).
Political discourse among pundits, media coverage and analysis, and social media discussions focus on these frontrunners, eclipsing 14 other candidates.
Here are the other 14 candidates for the country’s top political seat.
Hamza Al-Mustapha (Action Alliance)
Al-Mustapha won the party ticket, beating another contender, Samson Odupitan, after two other contenders, Felix Osakwe and Tunde Kelani withdrew from the race.
He was trained as a military intelligence operative and served in various command positions, serving as Chief of Fire Security Military Chief of State, General Sani Abacha.
After Abacha’s death, Al-Mustapha was arrested and charged with plotting at least four coups from prison. He was released from Kirikiri Maximum Security Prison after many years.
He told party delegates that his experience as a military officer for 35 years and while working with Abacha would enable him to fight insecurity.
He said in a BBC Hausa interview in May that he would stay in Sambisa Forest if he became president.
“I will stay there for weekends, holidays and see if anyone will touch me. I will take care of the problem of insecurity, whatever the gored beef,” he said.
Omoyele Sowore (African Action Congress)
Sowore is a human rights activist and editor of Sahara Reporters, an online news outlet. This is the second time he is running for president of Nigeria.
He ran in the 2019 presidential election on the platform of the party, which he founded in 2018.
In the 2019 poll, Mr Sowore garnered 33,953 votes. After the elections, he was arrested by the State Security Service (SSS) in August 2019 on suspicion of treason after leading a nationwide protest called RevolutionNow.
Imumolen Christopher (Party of Agreement)
Imumolen, 39, is a pedagogue, professor and entrepreneur. The native of Esan West, Ekpoma in Edo State started his professional career as a plant engineer with BOC Gases Nigeria Plc in February 2005.
Abaji’s Addo has two doctorates in research in engineering and educational management.
He is the founder of the Joint Professional Training and Support International Limited (JPTS) and the UNIC Foundation, a non-profit organization.
He won the party ticket unopposed.
Imumolen said he was in the race for the State House to address the leadership deficit affecting Nigeria’s development.
Dumebi Kachikwu (African Democratic Congress)
Kachikwu is the Founder and Managing Director of Roots TV Nigeria. He won the party primary in Abeokuta, Ogun State, securing 978 votes to defeat former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Deputy Governor Kingsley Moghalu, who came second in the election with 589 voice.
However, his candidacy faces a setback as he was suspended in September for alleged anti-party activities.
He was accused of having made “defamatory” remarks contrary to the values of the party.
But Kachikwu has insisted that he remains the party’s presidential candidate despite the suspension.
He said his alleged suspension was due to his opposition to an alleged extension of the term of party chairman Ralph Nwosu.
Sani Yabagi (Democratic Action Party)
Yabagi is an energy and crude oil expert. He also serves as the party’s national chairman and presidential candidate.
He was chosen by consensus at the party’s national convention in Abuja
In a recent interview, he said the rotating presidency was a retrograde thought, saying the best hands should be elected to lead the country. He said religion and ethnicity will not translate into good governance.
Umeadi Chukwudi (Grand Alliance of All Progressives)
Chukwudi is a former Chief Justice of Anambra State and Professor of Law at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.
He became the Presidential flag bearer of APGA unopposed at the party convention in Abuja.
He said his main concern was to enthrone the rule of law, separation of powers and due process if elected president of Nigeria.
Princess Chichi Ojei (Allied Peoples Movement)
Ojei is the only female candidate to succeed President Buhari. The Delta State born politician is a specialist in corporate finance.
She became the party’s presidential candidate after former flag bearer and national president Yusuf Mamman Dantalle withdrew from the race.
Dantalle said he made the decision to give women a prominent place in the political scheme of things. Like women before her, Ojei will struggle to muster votes in an election dominated by male candidates.
Sunday Adenuga (Boot Party)
Adenuga, 48, a businessman from Ogun State, is both the national chairman of the party and a presidential candidate.
He clinched the ticket after securing 292 votes to defeat Evelyn Ohevire, who won 18 votes in the party’s primary in Abuja.
Adenuga, who believes that today’s Nigeria would be better governed by young politicians, said: “What Nigeria needs is not the old ones or those created by the same old process. “.
Felix Johnson Osakwe (National Rescue Movement)
Osakwe is a clergyman born in Delta State. He challenged the 2019 presidential candidate on the Democratic People’s Party (DPP) platform.
Osakwe was nominated as the NRM’s presidential candidate for the 2023 elections after the party suspended its former candidate, Mazi Okwudili Nwaanyajike for allegedly not fulfilling his conditions.
Osakwe argued that Nigeria had suffered from a dearth of determined leadership, which he said the NRM had come to provide.
Kolawole Abiola (People’s Redemption Party)
Kolawole is the first child of the late Moshood Abiola, the acclaimed winner of the canceled June 12, 1993 presidential election.
He won against Usman Bugaje, Patience Key and Gboluga Mosugu to pick the PRP ticket.
He said the victory of the PRP would be synonymous with that of his father who died in the elections of June 12, 1993.
Adewole Adebayo (Social Democratic Party)
Adebayo is a lawyer and founder of KAFTAN Television. He clinched the party ticket after garnering 1,546 votes to defeat his closest rival, Kadijah Okunnu-Lamidi, who garnered 83 votes.
He attended Obafemi Awolowo University and the University of Jos, where he obtained a law degree and master’s degree respectively.
A member of the International Bar Association, Adebayo is licensed to practice in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, California, New York and the federal courts of the United States.
He plans to create 30 million jobs if elected president, without giving details on how the feat would be achieved.
Abdulmalik Ado-Ibrahim (Youth Party)
Abdulmalik, son of the Ohinoyi of Ebiraland, is a very interested businessman, especially in the energy sector.
He secured 66 votes to defeat his rival, Ms. Ruby Issac, who garnered 4 votes.
If elected president, Abdulmalik has pledged to fight hunger through an aggressive agricultural revolution.
According to him, Nigeria, with 65 million hectares of arable land, has nothing to do with hunger.
Dan Nwanyanwu (Zenith Labor Party)
Nwanyanwu is a businessman and a lawyer. He served as the Chairman of the Labor Party (LP) from 2004 to 2014. Under his leadership, the LP secured the governorship of Ondo State along with Olusegun Mimiko.
Nwanyanwu was elected chairman of the party’s board after serving as chairman for 10 years. He left the Labor Party in February 2015.
He is now the national president and presidential candidate of the ZLP, now Zenith Progressives Alliance (ZPA).
Nnadi Charles Osita (Popular Action Party)
There is not much information about the party’s candidate other than what the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) released recently.
According to the INEC list of candidates elected for the presidency, Osita, 49, holds a National Diploma (ND), which is the highest university degree he has submitted to the electoral arbiter.
He also presented a first school leaving certificate and a secondary school certificate.
A simple search of the internet, including the party’s website and its social media credentials, revealed no personal information about Nnadi Charles Osita, the APP’s presidential candidate.