Understanding the 2023 Nigerian Presidential and National Assembly Elections

Nigeria’s next elected president will lead the country into celebrating 63 years as an independent nation on 1 October 2023. In that time, Nigerians have seen attempts at democracy interrupted three times, but democracy has been the system of government for the last 24 years, with the 25 February 2023 polls the seventh since 1999. In that time, Nigeria has witnessed two presidents stand down after serving the constitutional limit of two terms (2007 and 2023) as well as an electoral defeat for an incumbent (2015).

For the presidential and national assembly elections on 25 February 2023, CDD deployed over 4,900 trained and accredited observers to systematically monitor the polls across all 36 states of the federation and the federal capital territory (FCT). These insights, supported by analysis by our data clerks, the work of fact-checkers and social media monitors, and the expertise and input of leading analysts provide the basis for this report on the elections. The CDD Election Analysis Centre (EAC) analytical approach was anchored on providing deep insights into how six sets of interconnected variables namely Identity, Insecurity, Institutions, Information Disorder, Intra and Inter Party Contestations and Infrastructure shaped the outcome of the elections. Based on data generated on these interrelated issues, four key themes emerged prominent- election day operational challenges and the use of technology, violence and voter suppression, voter behaviour and the influence of money, and online falsehoods. These four key issues provide reflections on emerging trends from the election process, as well as recommendations for improving future processes in the short, medium and long time.

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