On Saturday, Nigerians went to the polls to cast their ballots in the sixth consecutive civilian-to-civilian transition of power since the return to democracy in 1999. The election saw eighteen candidates vying for the presidency and both houses of the federal parliament across the country’s 36 states. Of these, four candidates are considered frontrunners: Bola Tinubu of the governing All Progressives Congress (APC), Atiku Abubakar of the leading opposition People’s Democratic Party, Peter Obi of the Labour Party, and Rabiu Kwankwaso of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP).
The issues at stake during this election are numerous and include the economy, which has suffered two recessions in four years, and security. With more than a third of the total eligible voters in Nigeria being youths, their voices are expected to make a difference after years of low turnout. Consequently, there have been calls for stakeholders in the electoral process to allow for a smooth and transparent election, amid concerns about voter suppression, inducement and intimidation.
The Nigerian people are hoping that this election will bring about positive change and a better future for the country. The government has promised to ensure that the process is free and fair, and that all votes will be counted. In addition, international observers have been invited to monitor the elections and ensure that they are conducted in a peaceful manner. It is now up to the Nigerian people to decide who will lead them into the future.