In a final push for votes, presidential candidates contesting in Nigeria’s general elections starting this weekend concluded their campaigns mid-week in line with the country’s electoral laws.
Eighteen presidential candidates will take part in the presidential election on Feb. 25, alongside national assembly elections. The fates of the presidential candidates are to be decided by a total of 93,469,008 voters registered by the Independent National Electoral Commission, Nigeria’s electoral body, across the 36 states of the country and the Federal Capital Territory.
Nigeria’s governing All Progressives Congress (APC) party has said it is convinced about “coasting home to victory” in the presidential poll after rounding off its nationwide engagement with supporters and voters for about six months.
The APC Presidential Campaign Council told reporters at a press conference in Abuja, the Nigerian capital, on Wednesday that its campaign for votes peaked at a grand rally attended by President Muhammadu Buhari in the southwestern state of Lagos Tuesday.
“The hundreds of thousands of enthusiastic supporters and party members that thronged our rallies, and those that marched on the streets to welcome our candidates attest to the popularity and acceptability of our party and flagbearers by the masses,” said Dele Alake, lead spokesman for the ruling party’s campaign council.
Alake described the ruling party’s presidential campaign season, which officially kicked off in the central Plateau state in November 2022, as “exciting and animating,” as Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the APC presidential candidate, traveled to all the 36 states in the country and made return trips to many states for additional engagements.
On his own part, 76-year-old Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the main opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP), believes his “imminent victory” in the upcoming presidential election would be “a deliverance for Nigerians.”
Dele Momodu, a senior spokesman for the PDP Presidential Campaign Council, said in a statement Thursday that recent interactions with all classes of Nigerians in the course of Abubakar’s nationwide campaign had endeared him to Nigerians.
“Abubakar’s hustings across all parts of Nigeria confirmed further to him how grievously Nigerians are suffering and how desperately they desire and pray for deliverance. The programs and manifesto aligned and connected with the inner desires, hunger, and prayers of millions of Nigerians,” Momodu said.
In several tweets Wednesday, Peter Obi, presidential candidate of the Labor Party, urged the voters to consider him for the country’s top job, saying his victory would bring “change” to the West African nation.
“The world is watching. We must take our destined position as the giant of Africa. You and I know the right thing to do. The greatest lie one can tell is a lie to one’s soul. If you are still undecided, please talk to yourself. Allow your conscience to guide you,” Obi said.
The 61-year-old presidential hopeful said one of his main aims was to move the Nigerian economy from importing and consuming products to “producing, consuming less, and exporting more,” adding that “it is the essence of consumption to production.”