Peter Obi’s black wears, Tinubu’s cap, Kwankwaso red cap…. – unique symbols that will likely shape 2023 election


Whenever a politician raises his or her hand in public, displays a repeated gesture or wears a particular pattern repeatedly, he or she has birthed a political symbol.

Political symbols are instruments of communications and evidence of political followership. They are signs of togetherness, indicating a common pattern of alliance between the leader and teeming followers.

Political parties have logos, easy means of identification and proofs of association. There are rational arguments that logos of political parties help illiterate voters to identify their respective parties in ballot papers and unify members more.

It appears many seem not to know that logos also present political parties in unique and honest ways. Over the years, politicians or leaders of political groups have also created their own styles for easy identification and promotion of their respective interests.

Like ideological groups whose members rock designated attires to showcase their respective heritages, politicians have also adopted several ways to represent their ideals either through styles or gestures.

However, Nigerian politicians are no different. At a particular time in their political struggles, they have adopted several styles to represent their ideals.

From the first premier of the Western Region and leader of Action Group, Obafemi Awolowo who was known for his thick circular rimmed spectacles and the iconic fez cap to 4 + 4 hand gesture which was invented by President Muhammadu Buhari.

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Obafemi Awolowo

These two political symbols remain the most acceptable ones in history. The Buhari’s 4 + 4 symbol depicting the call for re-election of President Muhammadu Buhari travelled far and wide in 2019 and became the most popular one in recent times.

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President Muhammadu Buhari

The other one which represents Awolowo’s ideas has survived generations. Former Governor of Ondo State, Olusegun Mimiko, Ex-Ekiti Governor, Kayode Fayemi, Nigeria’s Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, SSA on political matters, Babafemi Ogudu among others who are self-claimed loyalists of Obafemi Awolowo’s ideals also made the Awo-styled cap their preferred political symbol.

Having carefully studied the political atmosphere of the country as 2023 general elections draw nearer, WITHIN NIGERIA hereby highlights three politicians/presidential candidates whose styles and gestures have become political symbols.


One of the presidential candidates whose styles and gestures have become political symbols is Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

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Bola Ahmed Tinubu

Like Awolowo, he uses circular rimmed spectacles but his cap is different. He uses a bent Traditional cap which has infinity signs embroidered on it.

This political symbol – ‘circular rimmed spectacles and bent Traditional cap with infinity signs’ has been Tinubu’s signature for decades and there are sculptures including frameworks in such appearances attached in loyalists’ offices which depict this particular symbol.

According to Tinubu, the embroidered symbol on the cap is a broken shackle depicting freedom.
He said, “Philosophically, it is my belief and faith in education, freedom fighting. On my cap is a broken shackle. It is freedom. The shackle is broken and you cannot put us in bondage anymore. You have broken the shackle of poverty, ignorance, disease”.

“You develop the capacity to improve the quality of the lives of the people. It has been my philosophy and it will remain my philosophy. My office’s symbol is Freedom House. Freedom means everything to me, the freedom of man. You can find me on the street fighting against injustice”, he added.

Several followers of Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the presidential candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC) also wear bent Yoruba traditional caps embroidered with infinity signs to show acceptance of Tinubu’s leadership or ideals.


The presidential candidate of Labour Party, Peter Obi is likely one of the presidential candidates to look out for as 2023 elections draw nearer. Peter Obi has likeness for black wears and he is always or mostly showing up at functions in black.

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Peter Obi

Findings by WITHIN NIGERIA revealed that Peter Obi commenced his journey of wearing black wears when he was a governor. However, he wore other wears of different colors too.

A further check by WITHIN NIGERIA disclosed that Peter Obi has shown great and exciting likeness for black wears since he was declared presidential candidate of the Labour Party in 2023 election.

However, there is no certainty that wearing black wears represent Obi’s ideals but some loyalist of Peter Obi fondly called Obidients have also shown up at functions with black wears. They probably believe that wearing black dresses like Peter Obi is synonymous to being followers of Obi’s ideals.


One of the presidential candidates whose style has become a political symbol is Rabiu Kwankwaso. The former governor of Kano now presidential candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP).

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Rabiu Kwankwaso

Kwankwaso has likeness for red cap. He always rock his white Agbada with red cap. This particular style has been Kwankwaso’s signature for years.

Following the number of years Kwankwaso has rocked the red cap with white flowing Agbada, it eventually became a political symbol. Followers or loyalists of Rabiu Kwankwaso now don a red cap as a symbol of representation of his ideals.

When you don a red cap in Kano metropolis, it sends a signal that you are part of the Kwakwansiyya movement.

There are thousands of Kano citizens who believe in Kwankwaso’s ideals and are members of Kwakwansiyya movement. They see Rabiu Kwankwaso as their leader.

Whenever a member of the movement burns red cap, it means the departure of the said member from the movement.

As at the time of filing this report, thousands of Kwankwaso’s followers still don red cap to show their loyalty.

However, there are tens of political symbols in Nigeria. Placing two fingers on a particular eye in the metropolis of Osun gives impression that you are one of Senator Ademola Adeleke’s followers.

From Otoge movement in Kwara which was initiated by APC chieftains to Ojutila movement in Ijesa North, Osun which was initiated by Pelumi Olajengbesi, politicians have made several attempts to create political symbols through styles or gestures in redefining the political state of their immediate environment.

Nigeria is no doubt a fertile ground for politics. There are several political symbols across units, wards or local government levels.

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