Type to search

Up Close & Personal With Nigeria’s Presidential Candidates

botchway February 11, 2019


General elections will be held in Nigeria on 16 February 2019 to elect the President and the National Assembly. They will be the sixth quadrennial elections since the end of military rule in 1999. Presidential primaries are likely to be held during the last six months of 2018.

The President of Nigeria is elected using a simple majority of the highest votes cast, as well as over 25% of the votes in 27 of the 36 Nigerian states.

The 360 members of the House of Representatives are elected using first-past-the-post voting in single-member constituencies, whilst the 109 members of the Senate are elected from 108 single-seat constituencies into which the States are divided (three each) and one single-seat constituency consisting the Federal Capital Territory, all by first-past-the-post voting.

Declared presidential candidates

1)      Muhammadu Buhari (All Progressives Congress)

Muhammadu Buhari was born to a Fulani family on 17 December 1942, in Daura, Katsina State. He is the twenty-third child of his father.

Buhari enrolled at age 19 in the Nigerian Military Training College in 1962.  From 1962 to 1963, Buhari underwent officer cadet training at Mons Officer Cadet School in England.

In July 1966 Lieutenant Muhammadu Buhari was one of the participants in the so called “Counter-Coup” that overthrew and assassinated Nigeria’s first self-appointed military Head of State General Aguiyi Ironsi to reinstate the democratically elected government of Prime Minister Abubakar Tafawa Balewa.

In 1975, Lieutenant Colonel Buhari was among a group of officers who overthrew the Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon.

Major-General Buhari was one of the leaders of the military coup of December 1983 that overthrew the democratically elected government of President Shehu Shagari. Buhari served as Head of state from 1983 to 1985.

In August 1985, Major General Buhari was overthrown in a coup led by General Ibrahim Babangida.

He unsuccessfully ran for the office of president of Nigeria in the 2003, 2007, and 2011 general elections. In December 2014, he emerged as the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress for the March 2015 general elections.

Buhari won the election, defeating the incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan. This marked the first time in the history of Nigeria that an incumbent president lost to an opposition candidate in a general election. He was sworn in on 29 May 2015.

Muhammadu Buhari has been serving as the President of Nigeria since 2015. With both his present and former wives, Muhammadu Buhari has 10 children

2)      Atiku Abubakar (People’s Democratic Party)

Atiku Abubakar Atiku Abubakar is a businessman and philanthropist. He was born on 25 November 1946 to a Fulani trader and farmer in Jada village of Adamawa State. Atiku Abubakar could not start school when he grew old enough because his father was opposed to him obtaining Western education. When this was noticed, his father was arrested and jailed until he paid a fine. Consequently, Atiku Abubakar was admitted into Jada Primary School at the age of eight. Atiku Abubakar graduated with a Law Diploma at Ahmadu Bello University in 1969 and was employed by Nigeria Customs Service that same year. Abubakar worked in the Nigeria Customs Service for twenty years, rising to become the Deputy Director.

In 1998 Abubakar launched a bid for the governorship of Adamawa State on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party. He won the December 1998 elections, but before he could be sworn in he was tapped by the PDP’s presidential candidate, former Head of State Olusegun Obasanjo, as his vice-presidential candidate. The Obasanjo-Abubakar ticket won the 27 February 1999 presidential election with 62.78 percent of the vote.

On 25 November 2006 Abubakar announced that he would run for president. On 20 December 2006, he was chosen as the presidential candidate of the Action Congress (AC).

However, when INEC released the final list of 24 aspirants for the elections, Abubakar’s name was missing because he was on a list of persons indicted for corruption. Abubakar headed to the courts on 16 March to have his disqualification overturned. The Supreme Court unanimously ruled on 16 April that INEC had no power to disqualify candidates.  Abubakar lost to PDP candidate Umaru Yar’Adua.

In 2011, Abubakar contested for the Presidential ticket for People’s Democratic Party and lost to Goodluck Jonathan.

On Friday, 24 November 2017, Abubakar announced his exit from the All Progressives Congress and on 3 December 2017, via a Facebook Live broadcast, Abubakar announced his return to the Peoples Democratic Party.

Abubakar has four wives and is the father of 28 children.


  • Chike Ukaegbu (Advanced Allied Party)

Chike was born in Owerri, Imo State on 12 June 1983. He is a Nigerian American businessman, educator and entrepreneur. He is the chief executive officer of Startup52.

Chike left Owerri to study at the University of Lagos at age 17. At 19 he left Nigeria for New York City to study Biomedical Building. At 25, Chike started teaching Maths at City College of New York for several years.

In addition, Chike studied Venture Capital and Investments at Stanford University, General MBA courses at University of Pennsylvania and Executive Leadership and Management at Cornell University.

Chike became a Colin Powell Fellow on Public Policy in 2004. In 2009, Chike utilized his Heroes Model to help co-found Re:LIFE, a philanthropic group with a mission to enable endangered and detached youth through tech, business enterprise and education.

Chike consulted for international organizations, including from China, England, South Africa, the European Union, Brazil and Chile, on engaging millennials and Gen Zers, supporting founders and building inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystems.

After the Not Too Young To Run bill was passed, on 3 July 2018, Chike announced his intentions to run for the 2019 Nigeria presidential general election at the age of 35. In August 23, 2018, he joined the Advanced Allied Party (AAP) noting that the party aligns with his vision for Nigeria.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Show Buttons
Hide Buttons