The All Progressives Congress (APC), has admitted that the 2023 presidential election will be a three horse race among its candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and the Labour Party candidates, Atiku Abubakar, and Peter Obi respectively.
APC Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Murtala Yakubu Ajaka, who made the confession, equally expressed confidence on moves for diaspora voting.
The speech he delivered at a townhall meeting with young Nigerians in the UK diaspora made available to newsmen in Abuja, however rated Tinubu as the best presidential material.
“Nigeria is just few months away from the next elections. We have several candidates contesting the presidential poll, however, we have three strong frontline candidates namely Asiwaju Tinubu of the APC, Atiku Abubakar of the PDP, and Peter Obi of the LP.
“They are referred to as frontline candidates because of their experience in the public service having served as Vice President and State Governors giving them an edge over others. The three candidates also have the largest spread of political structures and offices across the country.
“As it is common with developing democracies such as ours, the selection of candidates for the parties always comes with various challenges, mostly bordering on sentiments such as religion, ethnicity, and geo-political arrangements. The cry of marginalization has also become a common and popular feature among politicians and the electorate.
“These sentiments had been into play all our political life for quite a long time. Unfortunately, we seem to throw away competence, capacity, and qualification to these sentiments. This is partly responsible for our present predicament with no benefit to even the agitators of such sentiments.
“We, especially the youth, must start somewhere to change the narratives in the interest of national unity and speedy development of our dear country. We must start somewhere to make a change for a better tomorrow.
“The young Nigerians in Diaspora are in an advantaged position to champion this change given their degree of exposure and education. You are in a clime where competence is the yardstick for public offices and not ethnic or religious affiliations. Therefore, you are the leading vanguards,” he charged.
On why Nigeria needs Tinubu now, Ajaka said: “He is blessed with a robust and fruitful relationship with Nigerians across the geo-political zones and indeed every state. His investment in making relationships stands him out as the best bridge builder that Nigeria needs now.
“His passion for youth development and engagement makes him different from others. I am convinced beyond every reasonable doubt that it is only Tinubu who understands the youth better that can give our youth and indeed, the young men in the diaspora, the opportunity to participate and contribute to the rebirth of a new Nigeria.
“Similarly, Nigeria needs a patriotic leader who can give others outside his geo-political zone, tribe and religion equal opportunity for self-actualization and service to the nation. He should be a leader with a firm belief in the potentialities of the country,” he eulogised.
Commenting on proposed diaspora voting; he said: “the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has in recent times recorded significant improvement in organizing elections that were widely acknowledged as credible, transparent, and acceptable. INEC’s next move is to start organizing the process for those in the diaspora to vote.
“By doing so, Nigerians living in other countries can exercise their franchise and be active participants in our collective quest to build a new and prosperous nation whose future should be entrusted to the youth.
“Similarly, the right of Nigerians in the Diaspora to vote during elections as critical stakeholders gives them the opportunity in the rebirth and of course, nurturing of our democracy and a better Nigeria. This provides Nigerians in the Diaspora the opportunity to vote for leaders with the zeal and commitment to move the nation forward and improve the lives of the citizenry.
“The lack of participation to vote during elections has continued to rob the nation of a huge voice in the decision-making process of choosing leaders for the country. I believe your participation will also spur you to contest for political offices and to make more contributions to the rebirth of the country,” he noted.