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Nigerian Presidential Candidates Are in Final Push for Votes

Two of the three candidates considered front runners in Nigeria’s February 25 presidential rallies held their first major rallies this week, with security a key topic on the campaign trail, writes Timothy Obiezu for VOA.

In the capital of Abuja, thousands of supporters, mostly youths, chanted praise for Labour Party’s (LP) presidential candidate Peter Obi. He is riding a wave of momentum after two public opinion polls published by Nigerian newspapers this week showed him leading the candidates from Nigeria’s two biggest political parties – the All Progressives Congress (APC), and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). A pre-presidential election opinion survey by global business and economic news platform, Bloomberg News, has projected Obi as the leading runner ahead of Nigeria’s presidential election. He told his supporters he will tackle Nigeria’s insecurity, build up the economy and improve local manufacturing to limit Nigeria’s dependence on foreign products.

Obi said his supporters were attacked and injured ahead of a rally in the commercial capital Lagos, a stronghold of the ruling party. “We cannot continue to tolerate attacks on members of the political opposition, often fuelled by the incendiary rhetoric of political leaders,” Obi said in a statement, urging police to investigate.

During a campaign rally in northern Kano state, PDP candidate Atiku Abubakar spoke to supporters. Abubakar promised to revamp agriculture and commerce in Kano if elected the next president of the country. Atiku 76, lost a presidential bid to current President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019.

The recent violence has included attacks on officials from Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission, raising concerns about safety on election day. Authorities say they’re taking steps to make sure voters and election workers are safe and that the voting will proceed without disruption.

Eighteen presidential candidates will participate in Nigeria’s polls. The new president will be sworn in on 29 May and will be constitutionally mandated to manage Nigeria’s security governance architecture between 2023 and 2027.

source: allafrica