The race for the 2023 presidency is hotting up ahead of the primaries for the ruling and leading opposition parties.
Nigeria’s national electoral body has said its chairman will not get involved in partisan politics or run for the country’s presidency in the general elections early next year.
In a statement on Sunday, Rotimi Oyekanmi, spokesman for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, described the calls for the election umpire to join the 2023 contest as a “preposterous proposition” which will not happen.
“The chairman remains an umpire committed to free, fair, and credible elections,” he said.
“His constitutional responsibilities as the chief electoral commissioner of the federation and returning officer for the presidential election are onerous enough for him to even contemplate straying into extraneous matters at variance with the law, morality, and his personal principles.”
Speculation on Yakubu’s possible presidential ambitions became rife after a similar incident when a group of people obtained a form for the governor of the country’s Central Bank to run for the presidency.
It also emerged at the weekend that another group had done the same for Akin Adesina, a former agriculture minister and current head of the African Development Bank (AfDB).
Nigeria is set to hold general elections early in 2023, but political parties have already scheduled their pre-election polls for this month, which means the race for the presidency may soon be close to its final form in Africa’s most populous country.