Nigeria’s president said on Wednesday that 18 candidates vying for his successor will contest next year’s “free and fair” election.
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari told the UN General Assembly that his goal before leaving office is “a process of free, fair and transparent and credible elections through which Nigerians elect leaders of their choice.”
“We are a vast country that has been strengthened by our common values of diversity and hard work, enduring faith and sense of community. We have invested heavily to strengthen our framework for free and fair elections,” Buhari said. Told.
Only one of the 18 presidential candidates listed on Tuesday by Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission, or INEC, is a woman. Nigeria’s political world remains male dominated, and women rarely hold top positions.
Analysts had predicted that the February 2023 election would be a two-man race between former Lagos governor Bola Tinubu, 70, and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, 75, of Buhari’s All Progressive Congress, who finished second in the 2019 presidential election. .
However, the rising popularity of Peter Obi, the former governor of Ambra State in southeast Nigeria, has put him ahead of other candidates according to a recent poll.
The Election Commission estimated that 95 million voters would participate in February’s election. The security and economic crisis has caused difficulties for many of the more than 200 million citizens of Africa’s most populous country.
Despite being one of the continent’s top oil producers, Nigeria continues to struggle with a 33% unemployment rate and a 40% poverty rate, according to the latest government figures. The country has also fought an insurgency by Islamist extremist rebels in the northeast, as well as armed violence spreading to parts of the northwest and southeast regions.
Such challenges make the presidential election a “fight for the soul of the country”, said Idayat Hasan, who heads the West Africa-focused Center for Democracy and Development.
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /