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Personalities who will shape polity

Personalities who will shape polity

He’s the present INEC chairman. All eyes will be on him. He will be the cynosure of all eyes in 2019, earlier than, throughout and after the elections.

Ismail Omipidan

Among the many outstanding Nigerian politicians to be careful for in 2019, and who are more likely to shape the occasions of 2019 are President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, the Peoples Democratic social gathering (PDP) presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, his operating mate, Peter Obi; Senate President, Bukola Saraki and Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State.

2019: Take part actively in electoral course of for credible leaders, Wike tells Nigerians

Others are: APC Nationwide Chief, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, former Abia State governor, Orji Uzor Kalu; former president, Olusegun Obasanjo and INEC chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu.


He’s the nation’s incumbent president and APC’s presidential candidate for the February contest. His admirers and celebration trustworthy consider he has completed properly and so deserves to be re-elected. However different Nigerians and the main opposition social gathering, PDP, thinks in any other case. He has since flagged off his presidential marketing campaign.

Earlier than formally declaring his intention to hunt a second time period, he had in November 2017, in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire the place he attended the fifth European Union-African Union (EU-AU) Summit, gave a touch that he can be in search of a re-election this yr. Apparently, he was accompanied on the journey by Tinubu, a person who was central to his emergence, first because the social gathering’s presidential candidate in 2014, and later because the president in 2105. Governors Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom, who is of the PDP and Mohammed Abubakar of Bauchi State, who is of the APC, have been the one two governors on the entourage.

On the sideline of the go to, Buhari was billed to deal with a Nigerian delegation within the nation. However he was stated to have arrived late for the engagement. On arrival, these have been his opening remarks: “First, I want to apologise for keeping you for too long sitting. This is because I insisted on the governors attending this meeting. This is why I came along with them so that when we are going to meet you, when you are going to meet the rest of Nigerians, if you tell them that their governors were in the company of the president, I think that will be another vote for me in the future. I’m very pleased that they were able to turn up.”

Buhari flagged off his marketing campaign in Akwa Ibom State. In 2015, the battle was gained and misplaced within the South-West and the North-West. Though, these two zones will nonetheless play outstanding roles in influencing 2019 choice for APC, one other zone that’s more likely to introduce a brand new combine into the entire recreation plan is the South-East. However whereas the South-West nonetheless seems good for the APC, the story within the North-West, Buhari’s zone, analysts say, will not be as clean because it was in 2015


He’s the present vice chairman. He’s additionally the operating mate to Buhari. Though he has given an excellent account of himself as a loyal lieutenant, his affect in energy is reportedly not as highly effective because it appeared at first. Issues might not proceed to be as chummy together with his political godfather, Tinubu if the celebration wins the February election. Regardless of denials on the contrary, political observers say he might have his eyes fastened on 2023, identical to Tinubu.


Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar had earlier than his defection to the PDP left nobody unsure that he was going to run for the presidency. This reality was strengthened as early as 2015 shortly after the overall election, all via 2016 and even in early 2017, by the Adamawa State Governor, Senator Jubrilla Bindow, when he publicly declared that Atiku was the state’s selection in 2019, at a time Atiku was nonetheless within the APC.

Atiku is from Adamawa State within the North-East. The zone has been agitating to be given an opportunity to control the nation after late Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, Nigeria’s former Prime Minister. Adamawa State is likely one of the states within the zone that has been underneath the management of the PDP since 1999, till 2015. However aside from 1999, when Atiku, then because the social gathering’s governorship candidate gained convincingly, intrigues and controversies have all the time dogged PDP’s victory, ever since. Paradoxically, most of these who have all the time positioned themselves to problem the get together within the state have al- methods been its former members, who turned aggrieved and needed to depart the social gathering, for one cause or one other. Like in all earlier elections since after the 1999 ballot, the 2019 election will be a straight battle between the PDP and the APC.

By the way, the APC’s candidate, who is the incumbent governor, additionally defected to the APC from the PDP. Feelers even have it that he might help Atiku, by serving to to ship the state to the PDP.

Atiku had left the celebration within the construct as much as the 2007 contest, ran within the election however misplaced to PDP’s candidate, the late Umaru Musa Yar’Adua. He returned forward of 2011 election, contested the celebration’s main because the North’s consensus candidate, however misplaced to former President Goodluck Jonathan. Once more, within the construct as much as the 2015 contest, he defected to the APC, ran within the main, however he got here a distant third. Nevertheless, he made it as a candidate this time towards all odds. This 2019 contest will be the second time Atiku will be on the poll as a presidential candidate.

Peter Obi

Obi is Atiku’s operating mate. He’s good little question. His outing on the vice presidential debate left these who earlier had doubts about his mettle satisfied that he can be a great vice chairman if Atiku wins.

Obi has been reaching out to these who matter within the zone, forward of the election.

Obi being on the ticket is a plus for Atiku and the PDP, particularly outdoors the South-East zone, the place some Nigerians consider that the previous governor of Anambra State is credible. They take a look at Obi’s achievement as governor and consider that Atiku received it proper in selection of vice presidential candidate.

If Saraki loses the battle that will be his finish politically. But when he survives it, and PDP will get the bulk within the Senate, he will be returned virtually opposed as Senate President of the ninth Senate.


He’s the present deputy president of the Senate. He’s seen because the mental energy home of the Senate. He has been within the Senate since 2003, and he’s serving his third consecutive time period as Deputy President of the Senate. The APC can’t overlook in a rush the political deft strikes employed by him and his colleagues within the PDP that noticed them putting in a Senate president, the place the get together additionally floored the bulk celebration to supply the quantity two man within the senate.

Traditionally talking, he isn’t recognized to wrestle for political workplace, however windfall all the time has a approach of thrusting on him management place. And he has all the time surmounted political landmines positioned on his path. Not even Sullivan Chime, as a sitting governor in Enugu, might overcome Ekweremadu when he (Chime) tried to cease his re-election in 2015.

He will be returning to the Senate, however in contrast to Saraki, no deal for him so far as the ninth Senate is worried. However the Enugu-born lawmaker seems to not be dropping any sleep over the matter. He turned Deputy President of the Senate in 2015, at a time when many thought he was completed politically.


He’s serving his first time period because the governor of Rivers State. He’s entitled to a second time period, a factor he would get on a platter. He tried to push via his most popular presidential aspirant as candidate of the PDP, however he misplaced the battle. Nevertheless, even at that, the presidential candidate of the get together will ignore him at his peril as a result of he stays a robust issue within the PDP.

No one will overlook in a rush the position Wike performed in standing by the PDP through the troubled time. At a time when others stood on the fence, he did every thing to save lots of the social gathering. He first hosted the PDP nationwide conference in Port Harcourt, which was ultimately referred to as off however whereby the celebration reaffirmed the management of Alhaji Ahmed Makarfi because the interim nationwide chairman of the social gathering. He supported the PDP through the authorized battle, which caused peace ultimately because the Supreme Courtroom ultimately sacked former Borno State governor, Ali Modu Sheriff as nationwide chairman.


He’s the Nationwide Chief of the APC. He has confirmed to be a political colossus within the South West. He’s within the presidency however he stated he gained’t contest towards Buhari. So he’s ready for 2023.

However his political dynasty within the South-West is beneath menace. In the intervening time, he has solely Osun and Lagos states. Nevertheless, the outgoing Oyo State governor, Abiola Ajimobi, defers to him sometimes.

If the APC loses Oyo and Ogun, his sphere of affect within the zone will additional dwindle.

Like in 2007, in 2011, when it turned apparent that to dislodge the then president, Goodluck Jonathan and the PDP from the centre, opposition should work collectively, Buhari’s CPC and Tinubu’s ACN, tried a final minute merger, however they blew the chance. Quite than work collectively, each events labored at cross functions, to the extent that PDP’s presidential candidate, Jonathan, floored ACN’s presidential candidate, Nuhu Ribadu, in most South-West states, together with Lagos, aside from Osun State.

However in 2015, the entire story modified as soon as Tinubu confirmed larger curiosity within the centre, and that culminated within the defeat of the PDP and Jonathan, thereby ending the PDP’s 16 years maintain on Nigeria, making it a primary win for the opposition, within the nation’s whole political historical past. To make it potential, Tinubu ensured all of the South-West sates, however one, have been delivered to the APC.


When American comic, Groucho Marx, outlined politics as “the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies,” he might not have had Nigeria in thoughts. However this definition aptly describes the state of affairs within the nation. Right here the powers-that-be not solely do something they like but in addition use every thing at their disposal to settle perceived scores, within the identify of politics. And they don’t keep in mind no matter favour completed to them. Maybe, former Abia State Governor, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, would inform this story higher, having been a sufferer of politics. First, he’s in hassle for preventing for democracy, towards the-that-be, who needed to subvert democracy. Second, he was betrayed by a person he laboured, spent his time and assets, to place into workplace. And he’s nonetheless paying a worth for his audacity, 12 years after leaving workplace. The story of how Kalu turned a multibillionaire, in his 30s, lengthy earlier than going into politics, is well-known in Nigeria, simply because the story of how one of many former leaders of Nigeria all of the sudden turned billionaire solely after leaving workplace, is nicely documented, each by Nigerian journalists and the nation’s historians. Paradoxically, whereas Kalu, whose sources of wealth, have been recognized earlier than he turned governor in 1999, is standing trial for alleged fraud of N2.9 billion, the stated former chief, who is the architect of his travails, walks the streets of Nigeria, a free man. However regardless of his travails, he’s nonetheless enjoying massive within the nation’s political area. Lengthy earlier than Buhari made up his thoughts to hunt a re-election, Kalu had gone around the 36 states, explaining to the elite and the plenty why Buhari must be given one other probability. Kalu is on the forefront of ensuing that the South East help APC within the coming elections. He’s additionally operating for Abia North Senatorial zone on the platform of the APC.


He’s Nigeria’s former president. Within the construct as much as the 2015 elections, he was considered one of Buhari’s main backers. He single-handedly demarketed former president, Goodluck Jonathan, within the worldwide group. He contributed to undermining the fortunes of the PDP.

At this time, like he did to Jonathan earlier than the competition, he has requested Buhari to not run, simply as he stated he has forgiven the PDP for the errors of 2015. He has additionally gone forward to endorse Atiku. Because the presidential contest will be a straight battle between Atiku and Buhari, Obasanjo’s help for Atiku is predicted to make some affordable impression, residence and overseas.

Up to now, since 1999 thus far, the one political battle Obasanjo has ever misplaced was his try to hunt a 3rd time period, in any other case he has efficiently prosecuted and gained convincingly all political battles, particularly presidential contest since 2007 after leaving workplace. Will 2019 be totally different? It appears solely time will inform.


He’s the present INEC chairman. All eyes will be on him. He will be the cynosure of all eyes in 2019, earlier than, throughout and after the elections.

He has up to now demonstrated affordable capability to be his personal man. However for the controversies that trailed the ‘Osun 2 election’ (governorship), he maybe would have gone into the February and March elections together with his head up. That is so as a result of there seems to be a consensus of opinion amongst most Nigerians that the good points recorded in the course of the Osun State governorship election might have been eroded by the controversies that trailed the re-run governorship election.

Widespread political violence mar Osun re-run