G5 alliance, Obidient movement, ’emi lo kan’… highlights of Nigerian politics in 2022

G5 alliance, Obidient movement, ’emi lo kan’… highlights of Nigerian politics in 2022
December 27
12:30 2022

The political space in Nigeria is typically characterised by drama, surprises, and controversies. As with every other year, 2022 had its fair share.

From the Wike-Atiku crisis to the unseating of Oyetola in Osun, below are some major political events of 2022.


Cracks in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) widened shortly after it concluded its presidential primary and Atiku Abubakar was elected the party’s flagbearer.


Abubakar, thereafter, picked Ifeanyi Okowa, Delta governor, as his running mate — a move that contributed to the current crisis in the party, especially as some members of the PDP national working committee (NWC) endorsed Nyesom Wike, governor of Rivers, as the vice-presidential candidate.

Following the development, Wike and his allies have called for the resignation of Iyorchia Ayu as the party’s national chairman, on the grounds that Ayu cannot hail from the same region (north) as the presidential candidate.

Several attempts have been made to resolve the crisis but the party is still at an impasse, and Wike, backed by five other PDP governors, is yet to declare his support for the PDP presidential candidate.


A spin-off of the crisis birthed what is now known as the G5 or the ‘Integrity Group’, which includes PDP governors such as Wike, Seyi Makinde of Oyo, Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia, Samuel Ortom of Benue, and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu — and other PDP stakeholders.

David Umahi, governor of Ebonyi and member of the opposition APC, has also announced that he wants to join the integrity group.


Senate President Ahmad Lawan took a leap of faith in June when he contested the APC presidential ticket.


He, however, lost.

At that time, the windows for primaries had closed. Yet, it appeared that Lawan, who has been representing Yobe north senatorial district since 2007, was interested in contesting the 2023 senatorial elections despite the fact that Bashir Machina had won the APC primary for the district.

But the road to the INEC list was paved with controversy, including drama around reported moves to get Machina to step down, another primary organised for Lawan to get the ticket, and APC submitting the senate president’s name to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as its senatorial candidate for Yobe north.

INEC, however, refused to list any senatorial candidate for the district — but later confirmed Machina as the APC candidate.


The development also evolved into court cases, leading to the appeal court affirming Machina’s candidacy, after which Lawan appeared to accept his fate.



In May, Peter Obi, former governor of Anambra, resigned his membership of the PDP, days before the presidential primary, which he was also contesting. Hours after dumping the PDP, Obi joined the Labour Party (LP).

Speaking on his decision to join LP, he said the party aligns with the interest of Nigerians across different sectors. Obi later went on to secure the party’s presidential ticket and now enjoys huge popularity on social media and a massive supporters’ base known as the ‘Obidients’.



Not many would have staked political faith on Ademola Adeleke winning the Osun governorship ticket, considering that he was running against Gboyega Oyetola, the incumbent governor at the time who was also a member of the ruling APC.


Oyetola, however, lost the July 16 Osun governorship election to Adeleke of the PDP, who got 403,371 votes against against the APC’s 375,027 votes.

You can read our analysis of some of the factors that cost Oyetola his re-election bid here.


In June, Bola Tinubu, former governor of Lagos, won the APC presidential primary after defeating 13 other aspirants.

But it was not a victory without drama and political fireworks.

Speaking with delegates of Ogun state days before the primary, Tinubu had said without him, Buhari would not have won the 2015 presidential election, adding that it was his turn — “emi lo kan” — to become the president.

Tinubu’s “emi lo kan” comment sparked varied reactions, and is now a mantra for references to situations requiring the words, “it’s my turn”. Even Lionel Messi, renowned football player, got his ‘Emi Lo Kan’ title in December after leading his team to victory in the FIFA World Cup.


After clinching the APC presidential ticket, Tinubu picked Kashim Shettima, former governor of Borno, as his running mate. Tinubu from the south-west and Shettima from the north-east, are both Muslims.

Amid backlash, Tinubu said he picked Shettima based on character and background, not religion.


Amid campaigns for the 2023 elections, Arise TV organised a town hall series for presidential candidates. For the first phase, PDP had Okowa to represent Abubakar, while there was no representation for the APC.

Then the invite for the second phase was sent out.

What started like a passing drama following the APC’s excuse over Tinubu’s absence devolved into full-blown statement exchanges as Arise TV insisted that it is constitutional for candidates to attend such town hall meetings. But Tinubu’s camp maintained its position that its candidate would not speak to Nigerians via the TV station’s town-hall platform.

The drama further evolved into claims by the APC camp that Arise TV intends to “embarrass” Tinubu, but Nduka Obaigbena, founder of the media organisation, told the APC campaign to present its candidate for debate instead of resorting to “bullying”.

Reporting by Jemilat Nasiru and Ahmad Sahabi


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