2023: Atiku, others at danger of ‘losing’ their presidential bids

Atiku Abubakar - presidential aspiration
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Former Nigerian Vice President Atiku Abubakar may be compelled to abandon his bid for the presidency in 2023 as the House of Representatives pushes to raise the minimum educational requirement for candidates. 

According to reports, a law prohibiting those without university degrees from running for president passed second reading in the lower house of the national parliament on Tuesday. 

Citizens with educational levels less than a university diploma will be unable to run for federal and state legislative and gubernatorial positions, according to the bill.  

Oriyomi Onanuga, the bill’s sponsor, wants to change sections 66, 106, 131, and 171 of the 1999 Constitution. 

According to news reports, if the bill is voted into law, lawmakers, governors, and presidents will be required to have a Bachelor’s degree, a Higher National Diploma, a certificate from the Nigeria Defence Academy (NDA), or other degree-equivalent certifications. 

It is no longer news that some Nigerian leaders, including President Muhammadu Buhari, vie for office using secondary school or basic school qualifications. 

The bill is being debated in the House of Representatives at a time when senior lawmakers are expressing interest in succeeding President Buhari in 2023.  

In the past general election, Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) only provided a Diploma certificate as his best qualification. 

The Adamawa State politician is rumored to be considering a presidential candidacy in 2023. 

Omoyele Sowore, an activist who ran for the African Action Congress (AAC) in past elections, is also on the list.  

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