Africa’s biggest democracy will go to the polls on 25 February for one of the most significant presidential contests in its recent history. Outsider Peter Obi of the Labour Party will take on Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the ruling All Progressives Congress and former vice-president Atiku Abubakar of the PDP in a bid to succeed outgoing incumbent Muhammadu Buhari.

In this need-to-know dossier, African Business brings together its coverage of the election, the candidates, their manifestos, and the impact of the process on Africa’s largest economy, starting with profiles of the leading candidates by Dr Desné Masie and Angus Chapman of IC Intelligence

Atiku Abubakar, 76, PDP (People’s Democratic Party)

Abubakar, 76, is from the north-east. He is considered a legacy candidate, having been vice-president of Nigeria from 1999 to 2007 alongside a long career at the zenith of Nigerian business and politics. This is his sixth tilt at the presidency.

Bola Ahmed Tinubu, 70, APC (All Progressives Congress – incumbents) – projected runner up

Tinubu, 70, was governor of Lagos State in the south-west of the country from 1999-2007. Unusually for Nigerian politics, he and his running mate are both Muslims – the first same-faith presidential ticket in three decades.

Peter Obi, 61, Labour Party – frontrunner of the frontrunners

Obi, 61, is widely expected by polls to win. He is Igbo, from the south-east – two characteristics that have rarely produced Nigerian presidents. An Obi victory would break the PDP/ADP duopoly that has dominated Nigerian politics.

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