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Nigeria elects new president today, 3 out of 18 are top contenders



Nigeria, Newscenta, elections, president, Tinubu, Atiku, Obi,

Voters in Africa’s most populous country, Nigeria, will head to the polls today February 25 to select their next president.

18 presidential candidates

A total of 18 presidential candidates will take part in the forthcoming election.

87.2m registered voters

Their fates are to be decided by a total of 87.2 million (87,209,007) voters registered by the Independent National Electoral Commission, Nigeria’s electoral body, across the 36 states of the country and the Federal Capital Territory.


2nd round in 3 weeks if no clear winner emerges

If there is no clear winner, a second round will be held within three weeks.

The duopoly

Convention suggests a candidate from one of the two main parties will win – Atiku Abubakar or Bola Tinubu.

But, Peter Obi’s supporters are hoping he can spring a surprise if they can mobilise the large youth vote to back him.


Peter Obi

Young Nigerians, who say they have grown tired of older politicians, are mobilizing behind a candidate they consider more youthful and who promises real solutions to their problems.

At 61, Peter Obi is the youngest of the three and currently the most popular.
Young Nigerians are calling for a new era and seem poised to demonstrate that, with 71% of those who completed their voter registration aged between 18 and 34, according to Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

With his “Hope Alive” campaign slogan, Peter Gregory Obi, presidential candidate of the Labor Party (LP), is taking his first shot at the presidency, promising to tackle insecurity, improve the economy, and fight against corruption.

Obi, born on July 19, 1961, is a former governor of the southeastern state of Anambra. During his tenure as governor, from 2006 to 2014, he implemented several policies and programs aimed at improving the state’s economy, infrastructure, improvement of education, and the welfare of citizens.


After his tenure as governor, Obi has continued to play an active role in politics.

On October 12, 2018, he was named as the running mate to Abubakar in the 2019 presidential election on the platform of PDP.

In March 2022, the former governor declared his intention to run for president on the platform of PDP but later decided to pull out in May 2022, announcing his resignation from the party and joining the LP to contest on its platform.

Obi’s presidential ambition attracts a huge number of the country’s youth.

The movement campaigns on the candidate’s perceived ideology of resourceful management and investment in key sectors, economic growth and development, frugality, and economic production rather than ostentatious consumerism and waste.


Bola Tinubu

Bola Ahmed Tinubu is the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Nigeria’s governing party.

A former governor of the southwestern state of Lagos, Tinubu is widely considered to be one of the most powerful and wealthy politicians in the country and has played a major role in shaping Nigeria’s political landscape.

Born on March 29, 1952, in Lagos, the APC presidential candidate started his political career in the early 1990s when he ran as a senator representing Lagos.

He went into exile in 1994, following the seizure of power by the military, and returned to Nigeria in 1998 to run for governor of Lagos during the 1999 general elections.


He won the 1999 governorship election in Lagos and served for two terms in office.

During his tenure, he implemented various policies and projects aimed at improving the state’s infrastructure and economic development.

He also initiated policies and programs to improve education, healthcare, and security, which were widely considered to be the foundation for the development of the state.

One of the founding members of the APC, Tinubu, with his “Renewed Hope” campaign slogan, promised to continue and expand some of the policies of the current administration, including the massive social investment programs launched by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The governing party’s presidential candidate also outlined policy options for healthcare, the digital economy, women empowerment, judicial reform, federalism and the decentralization of power, and foreign affairs.


He also included huge investments in entertainment and culture, as well as expanding job opportunities for millions of Nigerian youths.

Atiku Abubakar

Apart from being the oldest among all the presidential candidates in the forthcoming election, Atiku Abubakar, who is standing for election on the platform of the major opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), was a vice president of Nigeria from 1999 to 2007.

Abubakar, also a businessman, was the candidate of the PDP in the 2019 presidential election in Nigeria, where he was runner-up to Buhari, who ran for a second and last term granted by the constitution.

Born on Nov. 25, 1946, in the northeastern state of Adamawa, the veteran politician started his public service career as a customs officer, later venturing into the business world where he built a successful career in the private sector, and delved into politics in the early 1990s.


As vice president, Abubakar played a key role in the administration’s economic policies and the country’s efforts to tackle corruption and improve transparency in government.

After his tenure as vice president, he has remained active in Nigerian politics. He has run for president twice, in 2007 and in 2019, but lost both times to the late former President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua and the incumbent, Buhari, respectively.

Abubakar, with his “Recover Nigeria” campaign slogan, says his agenda includes rejuvenating the economy, closing infrastructure deficit gaps, job creation, improving security, and restructuring the nation’s political and structural system, among others.

There will also be elections for 28 out of Nigeria’s 36 powerful state governors on Saturday 11 March.

469 legislators


There are 469 legislators made up of 109 Senators and 360 members of the House of Representatives.

Permanent Voter’s Card

In order to vote, one needs to have a valid Permanent Voter’s Card (PVC), which essentially shows that the person is registered to vote and proves the identity of the voter.

The PVC contains biometrical data of the voter, used as further verification on Election Day. This data is stored in the card.

The deadline to collect a PVC has passed, so those without it cannot vote.


To cast a ballot, a voter needs to arrive at the polling station between the hours of 8am and 2pm with their PVC.

As long as a voter is in the queue to vote by 2pm, the voter will be allowed to cast the ballot.

Nigerians living in the diaspora are not allowed to vote abroad.

Bimodal Voter Accreditation System

This election is different compared to previous ones because a new system is being used – the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS), which is a device introduced in 2021 aimed at stopping election fraud.


The BVAS is essentially a small rectangular box with a screen that is more technologically advanced than the Smart Card Readers used in the past.

The key benefit of the BVAS is that it has the capacity to perform dual identification of voters on Election Day through their fingerprints and facial recognition.

This should stop people without valid PVCs from voting, as well as those who are ineligible to vote attempting to do so.

Another aspect of the BVAS is that it uploads vote results directly to the Independent National Electoral Commission (Inec) results portal for all to see, which in theory means results cannot be tampered with.

There have been concerns about the BVAS after it experienced glitches in state-wide elections in 2021 and 2022, but Inec insists these problems have been resolved.



27 killed in 57 politically motivated violence in Nigeria



Nigeria, Newscenta, election, violence, 27 killed, 57 violent incidents,

A geopolitical research firm, SB Morgen has revealed that 27 Nigerians were killed in 57 politically-motivated violent incidents between January and December 2022.

This is contained in a report the firm released titled: “Insecurity and the 2023 Elections,” adding that elections in Nigeria are a hotly-contested affair, with vested interests from the politicking to the aspirants.

Giving an in-depth analysis of the forthcoming elections as per insecurity, the organisation revealed that early signs have shown that the violence that characterised previous elections in the country is set to beset the 2023 general election, citing the current security climate. “Nigeria faces a plethora of different and sometimes strikingly similar security crises.”

According to the report, Nigeria has hardly had it good during elections in its history, adding that the 1993 presidential election was judged the freest and fairest in the country’s history. However, violence followed the military’s decision to annul the polls. Six years later, a successful presidential election was conducted for the first time in 20 years.

“The 1999 polls were expected to usher in a new era of politics, but the successors have not lived up to the billing. The closest thing to free and fair elections in the current democratic dispensation was the 2011 elections which international observers judged credible. Still, the process was marred by violence which left over 800 people dead in at least three days of violence in many parts of Northern Nigeria.


“The 2023 general elections take place in about seven weeks. Early signs have shown that the violence that has characterised previous elections is set to beset it, especially because of the current security climate. Nigeria faces a plethora of different and sometimes strikingly similar security crises.”

According to the group’s report, a lot goes into what makes or mars the conduct of an election, citing raging Boko Haram insurgency in the North East, with bigger problems for the military as it now fights a more formidable enemy-the factional Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) whose recent attacks in Taraba tell of a strong presence beyond the fringes of the Lake Chad.

“In the North West, it’s the second year of the military’s counterterrorism campaign against bandits. Its most notable success is the dislodgement of Boko Haram’s first breakaway group, Ansaru, from its traditional operational base in the Birnin Gwari area of Kaduna. Bandits have continued to successfully stage attacks in Kaduna, Katsina, Sokoto, Zamfara, Kebbi and sometimes in Jigawa.

“Similarly, in the North Central, the country continues to deal with multiple threats from militant Fulani groups, bandits and an ever-expanding 1SWAP who have staged successful attacks in the FCT, Kogi and Niger States the past year. Down South, the problems of youth gangs have never been solved, and the activities of the secessionist Indigenous People of Biafra in the East stand as the biggest southern headache.

“The group’s activities have targeted not only the state but every symbol associated with it, including INEC (Independent National Electoral Commission). Towards the end of 2022, attacks against INEC offices were launched in states Osun, Ogun, Imo and several other parts of the South East.


“It is amid these challenges that the elections will hold in February and March. The federal elections lead the way to be held on 25th February, and for the first time in Nigeria’s history, it is likely to be headed for a run-off. The uncertainty that has trailed this possibility has male political actors and proxies battle it out, sometimes taking advantage of the decrepit state of security in the country to stage attacks on perceived enemies.

“In July 2022, the deputy governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress in Rivers State, Dr Innocent Barikor, escaped death in Port Harcourt. In mid-December, gunmen allegedly killed the 2003 Labour Party candidate for Onuimo Local Government Area state constituency in Imo Christopher Elehu. A month earlier, the campaign convoy of Atiku Abubakar, the Peoples Democratic Party presidential candidate, was allegedly attacked In Maiduguri.

“In October, the campaign train of the Lagos Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidates, including governorship candidate Dr Olajide Adediran and his deputy, Funke Akindele, were attacked by suspected political thugs.”

Noting how political violence escapes scrutiny under the air of general insecurity, it recalled that three delegates of the PDP governorship primary election in Minna, Niger State, and one other person were killed by gunmen in late May.

“The security landscape presents worrying challenges to the political stakeholders and the country. Under the present circumstances, it is nearly impossible to conduct a hitch-free election in every part of the country. As a result, INEC is preparing itself for supplementary elections in areas where voting might not hold due to violence. Such a solution is within the realms of acceptance for thinly-stretched security services already battling insecurity on multiple fronts


“The 2015 general elections were postponed for six weeks because of the military’s operation to liberate territories held by Boko Haram to enable the conduct of elections. In 2003, the momentum has shifted, with more armed groups holding territories in a menace of the proliferation of vast ungoverned spaces. The 2023 elections taking place in the country’s deeply insecure terrain will surely have a profound impact on the credibility of the polls and the legal proceedings that may arise under the present circumstances.”





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Justin Kodua: Alhaji Jawula’s death, a great loss to NPP and Ghana 



Alhaji Jawula, Newscenta, NPP, Ghana,

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) has expressed sadness at the passing of one of its staunch members, Alhaji MND Jawula.

Alhaji MND Jawula died at the age of 74 in Nashville in the United States of America.

In a statement signed by the General Secretary of the party, Justin Kodua Frimpong, the party expressed its heartfelt condolences to his immediate family, people of the Kpembe Traditional Area, the football community, and the rest of the nation.

It said the passing of Alhaji Jawula is “a great loss to this country and the NPP in particular.”

“The late Alhaji Jawula was a long-standing and staunch member of the NPP.


He was shortlisted for the running mate of the party ahead of the 2008 General Elections, at which time, he expressed his readiness to relinquish his traditional authority in order to serve the NPP and the Republic in that capacity,” the NPP said in a statement.

Alhaji Jawula, as he was affectionately called, also served as Chairman of the Ghana Football Association (GFA) from 1997 to 2001, and remained the Chairman of the Ghana League Organizing Committee until his death.

He founded the Guan United, a Division One Club in Ghana, and held several other influential positions in the Real Tamale United Football Club.

“The Late traditional ruler of the Kpembe traditional area in the Savannah Region, Lepowura Alhaji Mohammed Nurudeen-Deen Jawula, also proved himself distinguished Statesman, having served in the Civil and Public Services for over thirty years.”

“He rose through the ranks and headed various directorates at the Ministries of Health, Finance, as well as Harbours and Railways,” the party added.


Alhaji MND Jawula Cause of death

The cause of his death has not been officially announced but close sources say he had not been well for a while now.

He died on January 21st, 2023. He was 74 years old and born in May 1949.

Alhaji MND Jawula Wife

Alhaji MND Jawula was a married man but he kept the identity and name of his wife secretive. There are no details about his wife.




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Independent presidential candidates in Ghana

Why it is well-nigh impossible for them to win or rule



Ace Anan Ankomah, Newscenta, Independent presidential candidate, elections, Ghana, parliament,

Several friends have opined that the way to get Ghana out of its hopelessly partisan lock jam is for an independent candidate to run and win the presidential elections.

I have listened and laughed. ‘He who calls the eye of a crab “a piece of stick,” is but a child.’ Here are my 12 reasons for laughing:

  1. Nomination process

This requires that a candidate procures the signatures of two validly registered voters per constituency. 275 X 2 = 550.

That’s a major waterloo. If you don’t have a strong ground game in every constituency, ‘election-preneurs’ will take your money and get you some signatures of people you haven’t met from constituencies you haven’t visited yet, and then lace the list with fake signatures when they can’t find people to sign.

Note that the Electoral Commission vets each signature and then disqualifies candidates if anything untoward has happened.

In one matter that I was ‘infamously’ involved with, a candidate was disqualified because one of the nominators had registered twice! And by the time you are disqualified, the nomination period is over.

  1. Campaign and rallies

People just don’t show up at rallies anymore. You have to send a team days ahead to prepare the ground, canvas support, and whip out the attendance.

The days when people showed up simply because of music and noise are way gone. I am told of a rally at a park. Stage and PA system set up. Campaign music blaring.

By the time the candidate arrived, the only audience was a few sheep and goats eating the last patches of grass on the field.

  1. Election day

The solid ground game is more important on election day. There are roughly 35,000 polling stations.

Two reps per polling station, making it roughly 70,000 loyal, devoted and dependable reps/agent, trained in how to fill and sign the ‘pink sheets’ and raise objections where necessary.

And since no one is going to sit under the sun for 24 hours because of you, you have to pay and feed (breakfast, lunch and dinner) 70,000 people around the country.

If you provide a measly GH₵20 per head, that is GH₵1.5M for that alone!


4.  Planted polling agents

If you do not find the loyal and devoted reps, the existing ‘big’ parties will plant agents for you, and then you will figuratively be ‘sleeping in your room with your feet [exposed] outside.’

A friend run for MP once. Late candidate, didn’t know the ground well. Almost all his agents were plants from his opponent.

They literally disappeared from the face of the earth on election night.

He did not get a single ‘pink sheet’ back, and had to rely on the announced ‘official’ results. He lost by a country mile and more.

  1. Election day ground game

The election day ground game is not limited to the polling station agents. You may need people knocking on doors to get your voters to go out to vote.

Several voters will require money to vote. I know candidates both in Ghana and elsewhere, who have databases of all voters in their constituencies, with phone numbers (momo registered) and how their perceived votes will go.

On election day they know who to send money to, so they go out to vote. They are the ones that tend to win.

In Philadelphia it is called ‘street money,’ ‘walking-around money,’ or more accurately, ‘get-out-the-vote money.’

In some places in Ghana that I am familiar with, it’s called ‘transport money.’ You have to send momo on election day or forget it. In fact, you can still send the money, and have to forget it too.

  1. Managing the results

When the count is done, your agents need to send you the results from the polling stations and then follow the officials to the constituency centre for collation. How will they send you the results?

For each polling station you may need to provide a smart phone with credit and data, and with a scanning app (Forget about getting the phones back.)


The agents will be required to send the results also to your reps at the constituency collation centre. Those constituency reps must be prepared to literally spend the night as the physical results come in. They will need the results from the polling stations to be able to compare with what comes in.

They snooze, you lose. They blink, you sink. A minute lost, an election gone.

  1. Collation at constituency centre

From the constituency centre the collated results go to the regional capital. Your 16 super agents there should be ready with the results that have been fed from the polling stations, through the constituencies, to the region, so that they can check with what arrives.

  1. Same victory chance

In effect, independent candidates and, indeed, candidates of the ‘small’ parties, have the same victory chance as the survival chance of an ice cube in hell.

Add to this the fact that the voting populace generally ridicules them, gives them 1% or so of the vote, and then laughs at them and calls them ‘insignificant.’

Let’s assume that the impossible happens and an independent candidate wins

  1. You cannot perform

That is when you will discover that our constitutional architecture is designed (wittingly or by default) to ensure that you cannot perform.

FACT: You cannot rule Ghana effectively without controlling majority of our Parliament.


Did you say ‘alliances’? Get real: they have to be traded, bought and paid for. A President without a majority in Parliament will be reduced to one who must ‘negotiate’ each bill and resolution, which will make all such issues truly ‘contractual’ and ‘transactional.’

Wink, wink, you catch my drift, hopefully. The ultimate loser would be Ghana.

  1. Run with full slew of MPs

So, an independent President might have to run with a full slew of MPs to stand the chance of governing.

Why won’t that candidate simply form a party, instead? Then we are back to the partisan issues that some complain about.

  1.  Dynamics in Parliament

The ‘legendary’ will hit the fan when the independent President is required to appoint at least half of the ministers from a Parliament controlled by opponents, likely to be the two big parties whose sorry behinds and ashy derrières are still sore and raw from the kicking they received at the election.

Potential for constitutional crises: (i) the MPs could refuse to serve as ministers; (ii) MPs appointed may resign en-masse on one day to render the government unconstitutional; (iii) the independent President would be a sitting duck because supposedly confidential or privileged cabinet discussions would leak out and reach party headquarters and opposition press houses in real time, et several ceteras.

  1. Seeking constitutional interpretation

Then we are then likely to spend all our time before ‘The Bewigged’ in the Supreme Court seeking constitutional interpretation, and pushing the court into a ‘modern purposive interpretation’ of the phrase ‘the majority of Ministers of State shall be appointed from among members of Parliament.’

So, for those who think that the solution to Ghana’s problems is the perceived independent president, I am not holding my breath on that, since death from asphyxia is said to be very painful.


More importantly, your independent president is not in the game; in fact (s)he is not even at home watching the game on TV.

Written by Ace Anan Ankomah, Private Legal Practitioner

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