Nigeria’s 2023 Elections: Contenders and Pretenders


With Nigeria’s next general elections coming in February 2023, preparations, schemes, and aspirations have intensified ahead of the polls.

Many aspirants have declared their intentions to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari and while some of these candidates stand a realistic chance, others may have to withdraw the hat they have thrown in the ring.

Contender: Bola Ahmed Tinubu

The APC’s national leader and former governor of Lagos State is undeniably the frontrunner for his party’s ticket. from 1999 to 2007. Tinubu’s tale is that of two cities, on the one hand, he is regarded as a progressive and astute politician with a knack for governance on the other hand he has been accused of corruption and brazen godfatherism.

Reportedly he may not have the party’s brass support, but going into 2023 it will be in the best interest of the party to keep him happy regardless if he gets the party’s ticket or not.

Pretender: Anyim Pius Anyim

Nigeria’s senate president of Nigeria from 2000 to 2003 is best remembered for bringing a sense of stability to the senate leadership that was plagued by multiple and successive impeachments. Boasting a wealth of political experience gotten from his senate stint and role as late President Yar’adua’s SSG, Anyim’s only weakness would be his seeming inability to garner a fanbase outside regional circles to support his mandate.

Contender: Yemi Osinbajo

Nigeria’s Vice President dominated headlines on Monday, 11 April 2022 when he declared his intentions to run for the presidency in 2023. Although his announcement was met with mixed reception, many see him as a solitary star in the Buhari Administration and expect that with Buhari’s backing he might turn out a 2023 favorite.

Pretender: Yahaya Bello

The Kogi State governor is currently Nigeria’s youngest governor at the age of 46. For many reasons, mostly unflattering, Bello is one of Nigeria’s best-known Governors, however, it will be a stretch of the imagination to expect his fame or infamy to translate into the political clout necessary to win the 2023 polls.

Contender: Bukola Saraki

Saraki served as the former senate president of Nigeria from 2015 to 2019. However, his stellar stint was followed by two successive political failures in his inability to secure the PDP presidential ticket in 2019 and failed attempt to retain his senate seat.

The PDP leader who made his presidential ambitions known on 26 January, 2022, through his official Facebook page will be looking at the presidential race as his redemption, and further to his credit Saraki enjoys a measure of goodwill from the Nigerian electorate.

Pretender: Orji Uzor Kalu

The chief whip for the Senate House of Nigeria, declared his intentions for the presidency on 21 January 2022. While he is an interesting figure to watch out for, not many Nigerians envision him as their next president.

Contender: Peter Obi

The former Anambra state Governor and 2019 PDP Vice Presidential aspirant is probably the most viable candidate from the South East for the 2023 polls. In a rare political feat, Obi has been able to command the respect of fans and critics alike. However, Obi has to scale the indecision of the PDP on zoning to properly weigh his chances and ultimately his political platform for 2023.

Pretender: Dele Momodu

The Ovation Czar and business tycoon declared his presidential intentions under the umbrella of the Peoples Democratic Party. Despite his impressive name recognition, Momodu isn’t even considered a favorite to get the PDP’s nomination to talk less of the presidency in 2023.

Contender: Atiku Abubakar

Nigeria’s former Vice President has declared his intentions to run for president for the fifth successive time. Just like his 2019 opponent, President Muhammadu Buhari, Atiku is a perennial contender and may be plagued by voter fatigue. In spite of this, he is still widely regarded as the biggest threat to the ruling APC.

Pretender: Rochas Okorocha

The former governor of Imo State and current senator announced his candidacy through a letter addressed to the Senate President on 26 January 2022.

These days, Rochas Okorocha is in the news for his rivalry with his political successor and incumbent Governor of Imo State Hope Uzodinma.

Contender: Nyesom Wike

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike declared his intention to contest for president in the 2023 election.

The PDP leader reportedly disclosed his intentions while visiting his Benue State counterpart, Samuel Ortom, in Makurdi. Wike further declared his aspirations on his Facebook page.

From the days of the Goodluck Jonathan administration, Nyesom Wike has proved his mettle as a politician capable of traversing the murky waters of the Nigerian political sphere and is expected to wield his overarching influence in getting the PDP ticket.

Honorable Mentions

Contenders: Rotimi Amaechi, Aminu Tambuwal

Pretenders: Kingsley Moghalu, Pastor Tunde Bakare

1 Comment
  1. Ekpo Abiodun Olufemi says

    The game of the contenders and the pretenders. Primary election will determine who will enter the ring. God bless Nigeria

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