22 Notable Nigerians who contested and lost presidential elections (1979 -2019) - SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE MAGAZINE


Sunday, November 29, 2020

22 Notable Nigerians who contested and lost presidential elections (1979 -2019)

By Charles Segun Adegbite

    Alhaji Atiku Abubakar : The Most Serial Presidential Elections Loser In Nigeria.

{Updated March 2, 2024}

Benjamin Nnamdi Azikiwe:

He was a foremost journalist, publisher, nationalist, politician,  the first and only indigenous Governor General of Nigeria(1960-63) and the first and only ceremonial president of Nigeria (1963-66). 
He contested presidential elections in 1979 and 1983 respectively under the platform of Nigeria People's Party, NPP and came third in each contest; losing to Alhaji Shehu Shagari.

Jeremiah Obafemi Awolowo:

An elder statesman, legal icon, publisher and the first premier of Western Region. He was the Vice Chairman, Federal Executive Council and Minister of Finance(1966 -1971). He contested presidential elections in 1979 and 1983 under his own Unity Party of Nigeria(UPN) and came second in each contest; losing to Alhaji Shagari.

Ibrahim Waziri:

He was Nigeria Minister of Health (1959-61) and Minister of Economic Development (1961-66). He ran for president under his own party, Great Nigeria People's Party, GNPP, in 1979 and 1983 and lost by coming fourth in each.

Aminu Kano:

Former Nigeria Minister of Health (1967-74), late egalitarian politician who fought for the talakawas(commoners), was a renowned left wing progressive element in the North in the first republic . He contested presidential election under his People's Redemption Party platform, PRP, in 1979 and lost.

READ ALSO: 7 People Who Became Nigeria Presidents By Luck

Tunji Braithwaite :

A lawyer, human rights crusader and founder of Nigeria Advanced Party(NAP). He contested and lost presidential election in 1983. He lost again in 2003.

Yakubu Gowon:

A retired general, Professor of Political Science, former Nigeria Head of State and an elder statesman . He contested the presidential election in 1992 but lost at the primaries, which was later canceled by the then military President . He was however disqualified alongside 22 presidential candidates who contested in the discredited primaries, from joining any political party or contesting in the future elections.

Shehu Musa Yar'Adua:

Late military general, politician, business mogul and former Chief of Staff, Supreme Headquarters. He jostled for the president in 1992, won the Social Democratic Party's primaries but it was canceled by the then military President Babangida over alleged corruption of the party primaries with money. He was also banned from participating in future elections.

READ ALSO: 16 Famous Nigerians Who Died Young

Bachir Othman Tofa:

A Nigeria business man, industrialist and politician. He was the presidential candidate of the National Republican Convention, NRC, who contested and lost to Chief Moshood Kasimawo Olawale Abiola of the Social Democratic Party, SDP, during the famous June 12, 1993 elections.

Samuel Oluyemisi Falae:

A retired banker, politician, farmer and administrator, was Minister of Finance(Jan 8-Aug29, 1990) after being the Secretary to the Government of the Federation(1986-1990). He contested and lost to Shehu Musa Yar'Adua at the SDP presidential primaries in 1992. In 1999 he was the joint presidential candidate of the Alliance for Democracy, AD, and All People's Party, APP, and he lost to Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo.

Muhammadu Buhari:

A retired general, former military governor, ex-minister of petroleum, ousted Nigeria Head of State(Dec 31, 1983-Aug27, 85) and current President. He contested presidential elections and lost in 2003, 2007 and 2011; coming out second in each contest. Luck later smiled at him during the 2015 presidential election after he had almost lost hope over his past triple failures.

Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu:

The Ikemba of Nnewi, late Biafra leader, retired soldier, politician and former military governor of the defunct Eastern Region of Nigeria. In 2003 he jostled for the post of Nigeria president under the platform of All Progressives Grand Alliance(APGA) and lost; being in the third position.He contested again in 2007 and lost gallantly; being in the sixth position.

READ ALSO: 10 Successful people who experienced failure in Ogun State politics

Jim Nwobodo:

A former senator, businessman, politician and former governor of Anambra State. He ran in the 2003 presidential race and lost at the general elections.

Gani Oyesola Fawehinmi:

Late legal luminary, human and civil rights activist, publisher and founder of National Conscience Party, NCP. He joined the 2003 presidential race as NCP candidate and lost to Obasanjo at the general elections.

Sarah Nnadzwa Jubril:

A psychologist and politician. She is the first woman in Nigeria to be a party presidential candidate both at the primaries and general elections. She first contested for president and lost at the primaries of SDP in 1992. She also ran in 1998 and was defeated at the PDP primaries. She thereafter jostled twice and lost repeatedly.

Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida:

A retired general and former self styled Military President. He ventured into the 2007 presidential race and stylishly withdrew when the then President Olusegun Obasanjo endorsed Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar'Adua as his preferred successor. In 2011 he jostled for the presidential election again but lost to Atiku, whom late Malam Adamu Ciroma and other Northern PDP leaders endorsed for the PDP primary against Jonathan.

Balarabe Musa:

A left wing politician and former governor of Kaduna State. He ran for the 2003 presidential elections and lost.

Chris Okotie:

A former music star, law graduate, televangelist and pentecostal pastor/founder of Household of God Church. He contested for president thrice and lost to Obasanjo in 2003, Yar'Adua in 2007 and Jonathan in 2011 under the platforms of Justice Party(2003) and Fresh Democratic Party respectively.

Orji Uzor Kalu:

Business mogul, media merchant, astute politician, former governor of Abia State and senator of Nigeria. He ran for president in 2007 under the platform of his party, Progressive Peoples Alliance, PPA, and lost.

Atiku Abubakar:

A retired custom officer, business mogul, politician and former Vice President of NIgeria. He contested and consistently lost all the four presidential elections he participated in from 2007 till 2019 as candidate of the Action Congress, AC, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), APC primary (2014) and PDP respectively.

Patrick Utomi:

Professor of political economy, management expert, a university don at the Pan-Atlantic University/Lagos Business School and distinguished politician. He was a Special Assistant(Political Affairs) to President Shehu Shagari (Oct-Dec, 1983). He ran for president in 2007 and 2011 under the platforms of African Democratic Congress(ADC) and Social Democratic Mega Party(SDMP) respectively. He lost the two elections .

Goodluck Ebele Jonathan:

A former university don, ex-governor of Bayelsa State, a live-and-let's-live politician and the immediate past president of Nigeria. As the incumbent president he sought for reelection in 2015, to get another term, after he would have spent five years and three months in office as Acting President, substantive President and elected President from February 2010. He was however, voted out in 2015, making him the first incumbent president in Nigeria to be sent out of office via election.

Dele Momodu:

A veteran journalist, publisher of Ovation International, media entrepreneur and part time politician. He contested the 2011 presidential election as candidate of the National Conscience Party and lost.

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