Tinubu vs. Atiku – The Journey
The two biggest political parties have agreed to run in the presidential election in February 2023. Following the May 28 primary election conducted at the Moshood Abiola Stadium in Abuja, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, a veteran of such contests, won with just over 50% of the vote, with Governor Nyesom Wike coming in second. Atiku received 371 votes, compared to 237 for the Rivers State Governor. Bukola Saraki, the former Senate President, came in third place. Alhaji Atiku Abubakar became a strong presidential candidate because the other nine candidates didn’t get enough votes.
The focus then went to the ruling party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), where Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the former governor of Lagos State, had expressed interest in running for the position. When questioned why he was giving up his long-held stance as a kingmaker in favor of a candidate in this election, Tinubu claimed he had the right to change his opinion and that it had been his lifelong dream. It was a suggestion that he would run in the shadow election with vigour.
The results of the election, which began on Monday, were only published yesterday, and Tinubu won by a landslide. In his bid, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria and a Professor of Law, was defeated in his bid. Osinbajo came in third place, with Rotimi Amaechi, the former Minister of Transportation, coming in second. Both candidates got a lot of votes. Asiwaju Tinubu got 1,271 delegates, while Amaechi and Osinbajo each got 316.
Nigeria’s political history demonstrates that, like many other democracies, the people have always preferred a two-party system. Within two years of the First Republic, when political parties had their roots primarily in the regions of their founders, such as the Northern Peoples Congress (NPC) in the north, the National Convention of Nigerian Citizens (NCNC) in the east, and the Action Group (AG) in the west, a realignment of forces had occurred, with two major alliances emerging. The Ladoke Akintola-led Nigerian National Democratic Party (NNDP), a dissident party of the AG in the West, linked up with the NPC to establish the Nigerian National Alliance (NNA). The NCNC and AG formed the United Progressives Grand Alliance to form a working alliance. As a result, the two platforms were used in the first post-independence federal election in 1964.
In the Second Republic, the Federal Electoral Commission (FEDECO), led by Mr. Patrick Ani, registered five political parties: the National Party of Nigeria (NPN), the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN), the Nigerian Peoples Party (NPP), the Great Nigeria Peoples Party (GNPP), and the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) (PRP), Before the Republic was established, there was an agreement to form two large alliances: the Progressive Parties Alliance and the National People’s Party. Even after the PPA fell apart, the NPP formed a government-forming coalition with the NPN, while the other three parties maintained a working partnership, particularly in the National Assembly. The military dictatorship of Ibrahim Babangida just announced the formation of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and the National Republican Party (NRP). This made the two-party system in the Third Republic seem more natural.
Elections have been contested on a two-party basis since the Fourth Republic’s founding. Despite the fact that three parties were registered, the All Peoples Party (APP) formed a working alliance with the Alliance for Democracy (AD) before the presidential election in 1999 in order to defeat the more powerful Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which clearly had the support of the military establishment. Since its formation in 2014 by four legacy political groups, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has grown in strength and taken over the government structure from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which bragged that it would rule for at least 60 years.
President Buhari was the only APC candidate elected, and his term ends next year. As a result, the 2023 election will be a transitional election. Will the APC be able to survive? Would the party’s many factions be able to rely on the center? Is it any more organic now than it was when it won the election in 2015? What does the fact that Bola Tinubu must face Atiku Abubakar mean for the two men, their political platforms, and the country?
Tinubu vs. Atiku
Both men have been through fights; Tinubu, who was elected as the first governor of Lagos State in the Fourth Republic, has proven to be tenacious and tenacious. He’s always had it tough, but he’s always come out on top in political races. He fought a bloody war not only against Mr. Funsho Willians but also against a powerful cabal within the party, before being authorized to fly the AD flag in 1999. He was victorious. Questions regarding his educational background and age were raised in the office. He was victorious over his interpreters. The federal government, which is controlled by the PDP, took funds owed to the state’s 20 local government councils. Once the battle reached the courts, President Obasanjo was ordered to disburse the money. Even though the governor did not agree with the court’s decision, the state government did not shut down.
Tinubu had become a political machine in Lagos by this time. In 2003, states in the South West that did not face as large a challenge as Lagos State fell under the weight of political bribery and vote rigging. That’s when the former governor was dubbed “Last Man Standing,” and he did a fantastic job of rebuilding the house and recovering the region in the following election. He deserves a lot of the credit for bringing the APC together. After failing to do so before the 2011 election, he was successful in bringing together allies four years later. The election victories of 2015 and 2019 were the outcome.
Alhaji Atiku Abubakar is a fighter as well. After leaving the Nigeria Customs Service in 1989, he became involved in partisan politics. He was a founding member of the Nigerian Peoples Front, which later merged with the Peoples Solidarity Party to become the Social Democratic Party. He teamed up with Alhaji Babagana Kingibe, the party’s first National Chairman, and the father figure, Major General Shehu Musa Yar’Adua, to bring the SDP to life before the presidential election on June 12, 1993. At the Jos conference, he fought Chief Moshood Abiola and Kingibe for the ticket of that party. After winning, Abiola chose Kingibe as his running companion. Since then, he has made it clear that his ultimate goal is to become President of Nigeria.
In 1999, President Obasanjo chose Alhaji Abubakar as his running mate, and he later became Vice President. Within four years, the couple were no longer together. Insiders believe the Vice President would have defeated his boss in the 2003 election if he hadn’t dropped out at the last minute. Since the President had tight control over the party structure, he switched to the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) to run in the election. All attempts to get him to resign before the election failed when he won a legal battle against President Olusegun Obasanjo and the PDP. He received just over 2 million votes, compared to Umaru Yar’Adua of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who received 24 million votes, and Muhammadu Buhari of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), who received 6.6 million votes. He also ran in 2011, trying to be the APC’s candidate for the 2015 election. After that, he went back to the PDP and ran against Buhari in 2019 as the incumbent candidate.
Atiku and Tinubu have known each other for a long time. Indeed, they are political partners, as Tinubu was elected to the Senate on the platform of the SDP in 1992, while Atiku was vying for President. Tinubu was a fervent member of the PFN tendency. Tinubu was quick to congratulate the former Vice President when he got the PDP nomination last week, which was no surprise. And, as soon as Tinubu was announced as the APC’s candidate, Atiku joined in the celebrations. In the run-up to the election, how would the two former allies who are now running for the same post deal with each other? The two septuagenarians are expected to put on a show. Tinubu has always moved forward, while Atiku has jumped from one platform to another to achieve his goals.
Both men are well-known for their large war chests. It will be interesting to see how each side uses their material, financial, and strategic assets to fight what could be a hard battle.