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Nigeria: Bola Tinubu nominated as APC candidate

Bola Tinubu

Atiku Abubakar and Bola Tinubu

Muhammadu Buhari's party, the Congress of Progressives (APC), has invested Bola Tinubu as a candidate for the February 2023 presidential election. He will face Atiku Abubakar, the candidate of the People's Democratic Party (PDP).

In Nigeria, the primary of the presidential party, the APC, ended on Wednesday with the leader of the party, Bola Tinubu, who pranced at the top of the votes. The Governor of Lagos closed the presidential door to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, with 1 votes from delegates out of the 271 total votes. Only 1 delegates voted for the vice-president, who is therefore bowing out.

Bola Tinubu, he did not hide his happiness. Nicknamed “The Godfather” or even “The Kingmaker”, he declared: “If I had not supported Buhari, he could never have become president”. “I did my best to take care of the little ones. I too want to be president. I will not be erased from history”, assures Bola Tinubu.

A speech full of emotion from the 70-year-old veteran. Nevertheless, the choice of Tinubu underlines a desire, on the part of the APC, to ensure victory in the presidential election. Bola Tinubu hails from the south, and although he is not a Lagosian, he has made the region the richest in the country.

According to figures, if Lagos were a state, it would be the sixth largest economy in Africa. And if Tinubu takes pleasure in calling her back regularly, her own fortune is at the center of several cases. Moreover, against the backdrop of a corruption case, Bola Tinubu is banned from entering the United States. It will therefore be interesting to see what will happen if he succeeds in being elected.

Tinubu vs. Abubakar: who will succeed Buhari?

However, the real plot lies elsewhere. Tinubu comes from the south, where the opposition electorate is located. PDP candidate Atiku Abubakar, invested on May 28, is from northern Nigeria. At 75, and with several electoral defeats in the past, Abubakar is significantly disappointing the PDP electorate. A large number of young activists have announced their support for a former member of the PDP, the candidate of the Labor Party (LP) Peter Obi.

Yet, just months before the election, Tinubu and Abubakar remain the favorites. A common point unites the three candidates: all three have been convicted in corruption cases.

In any case, if the Nigerian primaries often show last-minute setbacks, there shouldn't be many surprises left. Both Tinubu and Abubakar are ready to campaign, and are renowned for their proximity to Nigeria's wealthier circles. They have been business partners in the past.

Read: Nigeria: the 2023 presidential election, between omerta and cacophony

However, succeeding Buhari could be a poisoned gift. The Nigerian president kicked into touch in the face of the uncontrollable security crisis, preferring to spend his last months in Aso Rock accomplishing his latest projects rather than playing politics. It focused in particular on the last sections of the railways crossing the country from north to south, the renovation of the oil installations, and two bills on artisanal oil extraction and the reorganization of the directions of the forces of the order, both ratified.

Economically, Muhammadu Buhari's tenure was ultimately not that disastrous. As for security, it will be up to the winner of the next election to focus on this very thorny file.

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