Bola Tinubu, the candidate of Nigeria’s ruling All Progressives Congress party, has been declared the winner of the country’s recently contested presidential election early Wednesday.
The president-elect received 37% of the vote, almost 8.8 million votes, while Atiku Abubakar received 29% – just over 7 million votes. Peter Obi finished third with 6.1 million votes, accounting for 25% of all votes cast for the presidential seat. The results were televised by the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC).
There were fears that the 4 a.m. declaration by election officials would likely spark a legal challenge by opposition candidates, Atiku Abubakar of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP).
This is the 7th election since the end of military rule in 1999, and is an encouraging sign that Nigeria’s democratic institutions are growing stronger.
In his victory speech early Wednesday, Tinubu promised to be a leader for all Nigerians, not just to those who supported him.
Since the declaration, three opposition parties have called for a fresh election, alleging that the election was a sham. These parties include the PDP, the Social Democratic Party, and the LP.
According to the parties, the electoral process was marred by irregularities such as voter intimidation, vote buying and ballot box snatching. They argue that the outcome of the election did not reflect the will of the people and that a new election should be conducted to ensure a free and fair process.
The call for a fresh election has generated mixed reactions from the public, with some supporting the opposition parties while others are opposed to the idea.
INEC is yet to respond to the demand for a new election.
Nigeria’s future president will face significant challenges as the country continues to struggle with issues in education, health, infrastructure, and social wellbeing that have impeded its progress.
Furthermore, the country faces a combination of concerning economic factors, such as decreasing earnings, ballooning deficit spending, excessive borrowing and rising inflation, which pose a risk of economic collapse.
The incoming president will need to address these issues urgently to ensure the country’s economic stability and growth.