Can Peter Obi win the 2023 Nigerian presidential election?
Some polls have predicted Peter Obi to win the 2023 presidential elections in Nigeria ahead of his counterpart in the ruling All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, and the main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar.
Whichever angle you look at it from, Labour Party presidential candidate Peter Obi is squaring up with the old players in the Nigerian political space, but can he win the 2023 presidential election?
Some polls have predicted Peter Obi to win the 2023 presidential election ahead of his counterpart in the ruling All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, and the main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar.
However, polls predictions that are not sacrosanct may be a piece of good news to give a boost to forge ahead, but more is needed to guarantee a straight-out-of-the-pocket victory at the polls.
2023: Can Peter Obi become Nigeria's next president?
During an interview, Peter Obi described his political journey as a 'miracle.' He hopes his presidential ambition will be solidified with victories and take over Nigeria's reign of affairs from President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023 per 'miracle.'
I'm looking forward to the next miracle next year to complete the miraculous journey of my political life, Peter Obi said.
Obi is not the only one thinking his victory at the 2023 polls will become a reality per miracle; his former principal, under whom he ran a joint ticket as Vice-Presidential candidate in 2019, Atiku Abukar, also holds the same opinion.
During a media chat, Atiku assuages the polls predicting Peter Obi's victory, claiming that the former Anambra State Governor's victory on February 25, 2023, is hinged largely on a 'miracle.'
It will take a miracle for the Labour Party with no structure in the grassroots to win the presidency. In the north, 90% of our people are not in tune with social media," the former Vice President opined.
While Peter Obi's OBIdients followers are unwavering on coasting home victory at the 2023 polls, their principal depends on a miracle to defer the status quo at one of Nigeria's most important elections.
Nigeria's voting pattern and Peter Obi's chances
Under the Nigerian 1999 constitution (as amended), a candidate is expected to pull 25 percent of votes in at least 24 of the 36 states to be elected president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
However, the constitution, which permits a two-round system in deciding the winner of a presidential election, allows a second round where the top candidate and the next candidate who has received a plurality of votes in the highest number of states will do a re-run if no candidate passes the first threshold.
With these requirements, One would wonder how Peter Obi, who garnered a paltry 5,074 votes in the last presidential election while running under the labor Party would miraculously win the 2023 elections
Per the constitutional posture, one might wonder how Peter Obi, running under the Labour Party's platform, garnered 5,074 with Muhammed Usman Zaki and his running mate, Akpan Tom Ezekiel, in the 2019 Presidential election, will miraculously change the tide.
Notwithstanding, Peter Obi believes he has a fair chance if the 2023 elections are free and fair and opined that he's contending against the big shots with the structure of the "35 million Nigerian youths who don't know where the next meal will come from".
Obi also believes he will coast the votes of the "Elderly, the mothers and fathers, the old ones that are dying or being owed gratuity and pensions."
His resolved victory at the poll is also fortified with the claims that the labor force in the country, whose N30,000 minimum wage is either owed or unapproved by some states, will throw their weight behind him.
Peter Obi also aims to lobby the votes of the Academic Staff Union of Universities that just suspended their eight-month-old strike and the Igbo ethnic group, which, since Nigeria transitioned from military regime to civilian rule, has not occupied the number one seat in the country.
With a reflective backdrop into Nigeria's voting pattern since the ruling All Progressives Congress ascension to power in 2015, the South-South and South East have maintained a tribal voting pattern.
Electorates' votes in Nigeria are influenced by: Tribe, religion, political affiliation, inducement, right and obligations
No. of votes polled by A.P.C. (Buhari)
No. of votes polled by PDP (Goodluck)
No. of votes polled by A.P.C. (Buhari)
No. of votes polled by PDP (Atiku)
Taking from these two previous voting patterns, and if maintained, the South-South and South-East will favor their own.
Still, with the tribal sentiments and the North-West and South-West geopolitical zones leading in voter registration with 22,672,373 and 18,332,191 eligible voters for the 2023 elections, Peter Obi might need more than the support of his relatives.
APC, All Progressives Congress, had since 2015 coasted the votes of the North-West and South-West and might repeat the same in 2023 except if Peter Obi’s OBIdient’s movement canvassers, who are dwellers in these regions, change the status quo.
In the table below, the youths who have frontiered the Peter Obi or, rather, the OBIdients movement have been declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission to have taken the lead amongst the registered voters for the 2023 elections with over 8 million eligible voters.
Numbers of Votes
Middle Aged (35-49)
Old (70 and Above)
The OBIdients movement, whose canvassers are mostly youths with over 8 million registered voters, might steer the tide for Peter Obi as the 2023 presidential elections draw nigh.
Can Peter Obi Replicate APGA's miracle with Labor Party?
Peter Obi ran for governor under the All Progressives Grand Alliance in 2003 but never assumed office until March 2006 after his opponent of the Peoples Democratic Party, Chris Ngige, was unlawfully declared winner of the poll.
Obi, who later won the legal battle after three years, was impeached in November 2006; the same year, he won his legal dispute challenging the victory of the 2003 poll, but his Impeachment was overturned and he returned to office in February 2007.
In 2007, Peter Obi was removed when the Anambra State gubernatorial election was held per the timeframe of the normal Nigerian electoral calendar of a four-year election interval, which in this case dated back to his first, previously annulled election.
But the judiciary intervened again and ruled that he should be allowed to complete a full four-year term, striking out the victory of Andy Ubah, who won the Match 2007 election.
Peter Obi was re-elected governor in 2010, following his advocacy and practice of good governance, economic growth, and viable road and infrastructural development.
During a live interview on Channels T.V. on July 26, 2022, the Labour Party standard bearer recounting his journey and how he intends to win the 2023 presidential elections, said,
"Miracle is at the root of our faith; a miracle strengthens our faith. Since I started this political journey, my achievements and records have all been miracles, and all have been miraculous.
"If you check, I ran for governor in a party that was less than one year old, when I started in 2003, I won the election, they declared someone else, I went to court, everybody said it is impossible, that it has never happened before, after three years, the court declared me winner, I was sworn in, six months I was impeached, alongside Fayose and Dariye, I went to court, again. I became the first to come back from Impeachment.
"So, I was the first governor to win through the court, first to come back from Impeachment, and then in 2007, about one year in office, INEC conducted elections, and I won, I was sworn in as governor, I went to court again, to seek the interpretation of our constitution, that my tenure is 4 years, everybody said it will never happen, again the supreme court declared me the winner, which is why you have staggered elections in the various state today.
"So, I became the first governor to seek interpretation of the constitution on the tenure of the governor; I became the first governor. In Anambra state, over 40 years after Jim Obere's days in old Anambra state, I was the first governor to serve two tenures.
"I can go on and on and tell you so many things that have happened in this journey that I can say is a miracle, and I'm looking forward to the next miracle next year to complete the miraculous journey of my political life."
The next few months will show if Peter Obi's miraculous antecedent in APGA will be replicated in Labour Pary and will win him the number one seat of the federation, as he lobbies the position with the 'Jagaban' of Lagos, the 'Atikulate' of Adamawa, the Kwankwaso Red Cap movement, amongst others.
What the Polls are saying
Two polls commissioned by Anap Foundation and conducted by N.O.I. Polls Limited and Premise Data for Blomberg scored Peter Obi ahead of his counterparts vying for the presidential villa number one seat for the next four years.
N.O.I. Polls by ANAP Foundation
Premise Data by Bloomberg
5-20 September 2022
The Premise Data Corp surveyed 3,027 Nigerians from September 5 - 20, selecting respondents from advanced ages, gender, and location across the six geopolitical zones.
With the economy, security, jobs, and the fight against corruption as major reasons for voting, 72% of the respondents queued behind Peter Obi.
In the second poll conducted in early September by N.O.I Polls Limited, commissioned by Anap Foundation, Peter Obi also led the poll, with 21 percent of voters willing to vote him for the president's office.
President and Founder of ANAP, Mr. Atedo Peterside, commenting on the poll, said, "The results showed a significant lead for Mr. Peter Obi with 21% of voters proposing to vote for him if the presidential election were to be conducted today and 13% each proposing to vote for Asiwayu Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Atiku Abubakar who are both tied in second place. Dr. Rabiu Kwankwaso was a distant fourth with 3% of voters proposing to vote for him."
By the polls, Peter Obi is coasting home the wins in the upcoming 2023 presidential elections.
Dissecting Peter Obi's structure
With a constitutional requirement of coasting 25 percent of votes in at least 24 states of the federation, a presence in every nation is non-negotiable for anyone vying for the number one seat of the federation.
The Labour Party, under which Peter Obi is running, has only seen Olusegun Mimiko run successfully as governor of Ondo State under its banner for two terms (2009 - 2017), only to return to the PDP in 2021.
The Labour Party, which was formed in 2002, and was previously known as the Party for Social Democracy (PSD) before changing to its current name the following year, definitely does not have its foot in every state of the federation; hence the 'miracle' Peter Obi is relying on to win at the polls.
However, the Labour Party has already secured 15 million votes in the coming 2023 presidential elections.
Does the Labour Party have 15 million votes secured?
While many have queried the structure the labor relies on to unseat the ruling All Progressives Congress, Labour Party has maintained that it has the structure to be crowned in the Presidential villa come 2023.
The Labour Party announced 1234 members as its Presidential Campaign Council, with Dr. Doyin Okupe, a former Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to President Olusegun Obasanjo and ex-Senior Special Assistant on Public Affairs to President Goodluck Jonathan, as its Campaign Director-General.
During the inauguration, which took place in Abuja on October 12, 2022, Okupe expressed optimism that his principal, Peter Obi, and his running mate, Datti Baba-Ahmed, had at least 15 million voters "in the bag," while 80 percent of new voters were supporters.
According to him, about 60 percent of Nigeria's 38 million social media users were registered to vote, adding that 50 percent of the figure are 'OBIdients.'
Okupe's claim is predicated on the scores of youths who rallied in Lagos, Nassarawa, Delta, Osun, Calabar, Uyo, Akwa Ibom, and Abuja, deferring all status quo to canvass their support for the Obi-Datti ticket.
Aside from the teeming GenZ, on which the Labour Party is building its campaign, some socio-political and socio-cultural groups have declared their support for Peter Obi and his presidential agenda.
- Afenifere; a Yoruba socio-political group.
- Conference of Igbo Professionals Worldwide; A Coalition of South East professionals
- Middle Belt Alliance; Middle Belt Community group.
- Trade unions
- Market Leaders
- Religious and Youth leaders in the middle belt.
No doubt, this support, especially from non-Igbo communities, is a light in the dark tunnel of the 'structureless' Labour Party; however, more work still needs to be done at the grassroots.
Structure: Final Notes on Peter Obi's presidential bid
A spark can burn the forest, and little drops of water, they say, makes an ocean. Peter Obi's chances at the 2023 presidential elections are unpredictable, even with the rampant support and canvasses, especially on social media and rallies held to sensitize the country to the Obi-Datti ticket.
Can we say Peter Obi can't win the 2023 Presidential elections? Not outrightly either, as an international delegation of the National Democratic Institute (N.D.I.) and International Republican Institute (IRI) predicted a re-run following the emergence of Peter Obi and his counterpart of the New Nigeria Peoples Party, Rabiu Kwankwaso.
With all the permutations built and still building, Peter Obi has a fair chance of coasting home victory in the 2023 presidential elections if it is free, fair, and credible.