With Nigeria’s former President Goodluck Jonathan effectively eliminated from the 2023 presidential race, 75-year-old Atiku Abubakar, two-time vice president and now front runner, will face off against each of the 23 candidates vying for the title at the All Progressives Congress (APC) .
Jonathan’s subtle retreat has given Abubakar, the influential billionaire candidate for the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP), a clear lead.
Abubakar will know on June 8 who APC will select after many party primary shifts that have thrown the ruling party into disarray after President Muhammadu Buhari asked party leaders to allow him to decide on his successor. There was an uproar inside and outside the party with suspicions that Buhari, like the PDP, would have voted for a northerner, leaving voters with no choice but to vote after Buhari’s eight years ending on May 29, 2023 to return leadership to the North /p>
Notable among the APC heavyweights Buhari is considering, however, come from the South, including his seven-year vice president Yemi Osinbajo and Bola Tinubu, the party’s national leader who is responsible for responsible for the election of Buhari in 2015 and 2019.
Alabi Shonubi, the head of the Justice Union of Nigeria, an NGO, however, dismissed the suspicions and fears of some APCs, saying “everyone out of everyone.” ethnic group could win the election.
He quoted ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo from the South West who served two terms with the support of all Nigerians, as did Jonathan from the South who was 20 11 won the presidential race.
An apparent secret plan by the two major political parties to field two northerners has angered many southern elites, who argue that Nigerian unity and peace can only be guaranteed if the presidency going to a southerner. This is on the premise that the challenges that are making Nigeria almost a failed state emanate from the north. That terrorism, extremism and banditry are simmering and taking their toll on the 19 northern states whose leaders are unhappy.
Professor Sam Smah, a sociologist, said that the entire South and the minorities in the North speak of exclusion, Provoking hatred that has made the nation nervous.
In addition to the violent secession activities of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), a group in the Southeast, several other groups are also calling for secession in the Southwest.
Although President Buhari did not emphasize the APC candidate’s ethnicity, experts say he is being guided by his relatives, who insist that power must remain in the north.
Dr. Abraham Sampson, a political scientist, said: “It is not clear who Buhari will pick, but there is a strong lobby in the north to keep the presidency. One of the excuses was that since the PDP picked a candidate from the north, the APC has no choice but to follow suit.”