2023 elections will be like no other. Nobody living or dead can say with utmost assurance how the various areas will vote. 

There are a lot of dynamics that will play out and a lot of people will be shocked. 

For the first time, the big parties will have some disadvantages while the small parties will enjoy the love of the public but not the love of cash.

How these and other issues add up will determine who will be sworn in after Buhari. Here are my take away.

Political Party Permutations

In APC, there is a huge split between the Northern Muslims and Christians. Similar to what Gov Wike and his group are asking from the PDP (what’s in it for us), the Northern Christians have finally woken up from their slumber. They are asking the more dominant Northern Muslims for some sort of guarantee if they need their bloc votes.

Also in the APC, there is this unwritten and unannounced mutual suspicion between the camps of Tinubu and Shettima. While Tinubu is said to be using the Northern’ness and Muslim’ness of Shettima to bag votes from the north, Shettima is said to be in it, expecting that Tinubu will not last due to his obvious ill health, hence he, Shettima, will do a GEJ and become the president sometime if they win. Already Tinubu people are saying Shettima will not be trusted anywhere around BAT if they win.

Also plenty of the aspirants that lost to Tinubu haven’t been openly supporting him. They have adopted a “sidon-look” approach. Two even visited Gov Wike some days ago. 

In the PDP, the crisis is known by all. Wike and his group are obviously not going to work for PDP even if AYU resigns 10 times. The love and trust has been lost already. That song by Wike – “tinyere ha ogba aghara (bring confusion between them) seems to have sealed their faith. Only wishful thinkers will be waiting for any form of reconciliation between both parties.

Sectional and Ethnic Permutations

Up north, the most loved candidate is Kwankwaso, but he is not in a major political party, so his chances may be limited by party spread and finances. He has zero penetration in the south.

The northern pretender, Atiku, knows he has a very tiny chance in the South, only about three states can he get any little votes. Because of this, he has decided to play the ethnic card to win big in the north. He is openly trying to placate northerners by showing them he is anti-south. This is a double-edged sword. Whatever he hopes to gain from the north will be cleaned up by Kwankwaso, and his slim southern votes will totally vanish.

Also, the extremists in some North-Eastern states will obviously be routing for Shettima. Don’t forget the split by northern Christians.

So the north will not be voting in bloc as they used to.

In the south and sparingly in the north, Peter Obi is head and shoulders the most loved candidate. And this is made doubly sure by the youth who have become disillusioned by the Buhari maladministration.

In the South-East and South-South, Peter Obi is home and dry. He doesn’t need a party to do so. He is the presidential candidate of choice for most party men and women. They all seem to be routing for Obi for president and their preferred candidate of their party as governor.

The South-West has a lot. First, two states are gone. The remaining four states has Lagos with the highest votes. The dynamics here is that Lagos also has the most voters who don’t care about party. The fact that the voters without any party support were able to organise mass rallies in five locations in Lagos concurrently should ring a bell. I repeat CONCURRENTLY!!! I have never seen this done before. Parties usually move supporters from everywhere to come up with a sizable crowd IN ONE PLACE. But Obi supporters organised themselves and came up with mammoth crowds in five locations of Lagos AT ONCE. If you joke with this fact, you joke with your life..

Wike and Friends Factor

The final decision of Gov Wike and his group will also come to reckoning. Where they finally pitch their tent will be a deal breaker. People think he is limited to just the five states where the friendly governors preside. Far from that. You see those other states where they don’t have PDP governors? Wike and his crew have inroads in those states. People will be shocked.

Religious Permutations 

The muslim-muslim ticket by Tinubu, just like the Atiku’s northern love, is a double-edged sword. It may get him votes in the north or deny him votes in the south (including Yoruba Christians). Also the Northern Christians are on this table. The magnitude of the swing either way is what no man can predict 

With Tinubu, Atiku, and Kwankwaso all Muslims, Obi is the only popular Christian candidate. How this plays out will be tested at the polls.

Economic Permutations

The Buhari cum APC maladministration has made it easy to talk to Nigerians and win their trust. Tinubu is confused how to word his campaign because he doesn’t want to be seen to be close to Buhari whose tenure caused Nigerians unprintable pains.

Even though he is unable to show any serious infrastructures like flyovers he built as a governor despite the huge capital, he has comically claimed everything in Lagos. The only thing he is yet to claim is that he arrived Lagos before Mungo Park and Jakande. Many Lagosians 25 years and above are laughing with their PVC in hand.

Kwankwaso’s legacy in Kano is not up for debate. Also Peter Obi’s achievements in a poor Anambra, especially in things money cannot buy, seems to be what is propelling the love he is getting all over.

As for Atiku, the only thing people remember him for economically is that he was in charge and sold off most of Nigeria’s assets and they all have become failures despite all the assurances to the contrary.

Security Permutations

Again Buhari and APC have angered Nigerians. Insecurity has come to Abuja like in all parts of Nigeria. This sounds like sacrilege. On one hand, Nigerians will vent their security frustrations on Tinubu, the APC leader that boasted he brought Buhari, and on the other hand, Shettima, the man who fought to cover Boko Haram fighters and house the wanted fugitives in government house while he was governor.

Meanwhile, some Nigerians are being reminded that Peter Obi was the first governor to introduce demolition of houses of terror suspects. This culminated in the inspector general of police saying Anambra was the safest state in Nigeria.

That Deborah social media post that was deleted by Atiku will hunt him for the rest of his political career, if feelers from most Nigerians are anything to go by.


The outcome of BVAS as used by INEC will cause a lot of heartache for old politicians who are used to vote-buying and manipulation of manual election result sheets. It won’t be business as usual.

So there you have it all laid out. Whatever you think, 2023 will not be like any other election in Nigeria’s history. For the first time, the wishes of Nigerians will have a remarkable say in who emerges.

Daniel Ogolo, a digital marketing consultant and public affairs commentator, writes from the creeks of Opobo, just by the Atlantic Ocean.

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Kaaynan’s editorial stance.


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