Nigeria will head to the polls on Saturday to vote in a fiercely-contested presidential elections despite earlier rumours that the elections will be postponed due to the country’s banknote shortage crisis.
With the country facing numerous economic and security challenges such as fuel and cash shortages, terror attacks, high inflation, and a devaluing currency, this election will determine the future of the country recognized as the giant of Africa.
The Nigerian election commission announced Thursday that it has received a large portion of the cash required to conduct this weekend’s elections, dismissing concerns that the vote would be postponed due to the country’s banknote crisis.
Although eighteen candidates are running for the highest office of Nigeria, three of them have been in the headlines even before official campaigning began.The key contenders, as opinion polls suggest, are Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the candidate of Buhari’s party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), Atiku Abubakar, main opposition leader and former vice president of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and Peter Obi of the Labour Party who has broken the barriers to become a third force in this year’s elections.
None of the candidates are incumbents or former military leaders, marking a first since the country’s return to democratic rule in 1999. Outgoing President Muhammadu Buhari, who is term-limited, will step down with a mixed legacy that has left many Nigerian voters frustrated and angry.
As the sixth most populated country in the world, Nigeria’s election is a big deal. Several leaders across the globe including the president of the United States, Joe Biden, have sent peace messages encouraging candidates to accept the outcome of the elections.