By John Ikani
Nigeria’s presidential election campaigns officially start today ahead of the 2023 general election.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had fixed September 28 for the formal commencement of the presidential campaigns.
Although the campaigns formally kick off today, the candidates had since been embarking on what they called consultations, with their supporters engaging in activities which could pass for campaigns.
18 candidates cleared by INEC are in the race to convince the 96.3 million voters why they deserve to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari at Aso Rock from May 29, 2023.
According to INEC’s timetable, the presidential and National Assembly elections will be held on Saturday, February 25, 2023, followed by the governorship and State Assembly elections on Saturday, March 11, 2023.
Nigeria has a population of more than 200 million, out of which more than 95 million voters have been registered to cast their ballots.
Rampant insecurity, chronic unemployment and a worsening economic outlook are among issues the candidates are expected to address.
But political observers fear that the campaigns might be transactional rather than issue based, and money may be used to buy votes.