The campaigns were intense and, for some of the candidates, very tasking. Finally, the time is near; the elections are here. The 2023 election means so many things to so many people. For some, it will determine what Nigeria means to the different nations within the country. To others, it is a direct show of relevance, while some will see in it the determination of direct participation in politics. Whichever way the different groups see it, what is important is that it is also one election that would see more Nigerians wanting to make a statement with their permanent voter cards, PVCs. For many, it is an opportunity to put to test the promise of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC to ensure that every vote counts, and reduce to the barest minimum sharp practices at elections in Nigeria.
The Cover Story in this edition takes a look at the presidential candidates, particularly the frontrunners. Anayochukwu Agbo, our Abuja Bureau Chief considers the qualities that the one who will succeed President Muhammadu Buhari should possess in order to be able to face the challenges ahead. And the question it seeks to answer is Who Will Save Nigeria?
The Special Report is on Peter Obi, former governor of Anambra State and the presidential candidate of Labour Party in the forthcoming general election. What makes Obi special is not about the number of votes he would garner in this election. It is also not about those traditional factors considered in a candidate for election: electability, areas of influence, the federating units where he would be expecting votes either through his personal appeal or the appeal of his political platform. Rather, the thing that makes Obi tick in the 2023 general election is the Obi persona that has created the kind of waves not witnessed in recent years in Nigeria.
Though not a greenhorn, having been governor, and later vice presidential running mate in the 2019 election, not many people assumed that Obi would attract the kind of attention he has commanded in the ongoing campaigns in the country. That he could confound the bookmakers whose initial position was that the election was going to be a two-horse race for them to now talk of a three-horse race, is considered phenomenal. That is why the editorial board here believes that Obi deserves a special mention. Thus the story Can Peter Obi Dislodge The Behemoths? It is written by Adekunbi Ero, executive editor.
The pains inflicted on Nigerians by the scarcity of premium motor spirit, otherwise known as petrol, is looked at in the story by our man in the South-south region, Lateef Olayinka. The story titled A Nation Drunk on Scarce Spirit explores the root of the crisis, the challenge of subsidy and the administration of oil industry.
The Editorial, titled Judgement Time For A ‘Clueful’ APC, takes a look at the record of performance of the All Progressives Congress, APC vis-à-vis the promises of the party before it came into office in 2015. The verdict? Details are inside, and how this election is a sort of referendum for the ruling party. As the country goes into another election, we implore you to vote and be vigilant. The future is crucial in our decisions.