Nigerian 1983 Presidential Election was the second of its kind in which eligible Nigerian voters choose an executive president. Prior to the 1983, in 1979 when Nigeria returned to democracy, an election was conducted for the first time. Therefore, after four years another election was conducted.
The Nigerian 1983 Presidential Election was conducted on 6 August, 1983.
The background to the Nigerian 1983 Presidential Election was also the same with that of the 1979 Presidential Election. Because, in the 1979 Constitution, it was designed that after every four years a presidential election should be conducted.
Therefore, on 6 August 1983, Nigerian 1983 Presidential Election was scheduled to be conducted.
The Nigerian 1983 Presidential Election was historically was one of the election that was roughly conducted. Because, the 1979 Election was criticized by many policians as unfair. Also, some eyewitness journalists have even pointed out that there were many rigging and irregularities in the Election. Due to these and other reasons, the opposition parties prepared well and became ready to oppose the ruling party the National Party of Nigeria (NPN).
By August 1983, all of the political parties have chosen their presidential election for the election. The candidates were as follows :
- Alhaji Shehu Shagari for the National Party of Nigeria (NPN)
- Chief Obafemi Awolowo for the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN)
- Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe for the Nigerian People’s Party (NPP)
- Alhaji Khalifa Hassan Yusuf for the People’s Redemption Party (PRP)
- Alhaji Waziri Ibrahim for the Great Nigerian People’s Party (GNPP)
- Tunji Braithwaite for the Nigeria Advance Party (NAP)
With the aforementioned candidates, the Nigerian 1983 Presidential Election was contested on 12 August 1983. During the election, the candidates received the following votes :
- Alhaji Shehu Shagari of the NPN received 12,081,471 popular votes
- Chief Obafemi Awolowo of the UPN received 7,907,209 popular votes
- Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe of the NPP received 3,557,113 popular votes
- Alhaji Khalifa Hassan Yusuf of the PRP received 968,974 popular votes
- Alhaji Waziri Ibrahim of the GNPP received 643,806 popular votes
- Tunji Braithwaite of the NAP received 271,524 popular votes
Therefore, with the above result, the incumbent president Alhaji Shehu Shagari was declared winner of the Nigerian 1983 Presidential Election. However, most of the other candidates opposed the results of the election, and headed to court.
Alhaji Ibrahim Alhaji vs Alhaji Shehu Shagari case
On 29 September 1983, one of the candidates Alhaji Ibrahim Waziri of the GNPP opposed the victory of President Shehu Shagari and headed to court seeking the nullification of the election. The petition was brought before Nigerian Supreme Court under the following judges:
- Justice George S. Sowemimo
- Justice Ayo G. Irikefe
- Justice Mohammed Bello
- Justice Andrews O. Obaseki
- Justice Kayode Eso
- Justice Augustine Nnamani
- Justice Muhammadu L. Uwais
After Judges treviewed the appellant’s case, the Nigerian Supreme Court decided that the evidence were not satisfactory, and therefore the petition was dismissed.