Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the former governor of Lagos, has won the presidential election in Nigeria, officials announced on Wednesday.
The Independent National Election Commission (INEC) said that Tinubu, 70, who was the candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), received 36 percent of more than 24 million votes cast in the February 25 presidential election.
He also satisfied the other requirement to win Nigeria’s presidential election, receiving 25 percent of the votes in more than two-thirds of Nigeria’s 36 states and Abuja, the capital of Nigeria.
“‘My fellow Nigerians, I am profoundly humbled that you have elected me to serve as the 16th President of our beloved Republic. This is a shining moment in the life of any man and affirmation of our democratic existence. From my heart, I say thank you,” Tinubu said in remarks after he was declared the winner.
However, opposition candidates, including Peter Obi and Atiku Abubakar, claimed the election was rigged and vowed to contest the results. They even called for a new presidential election to be held under a new INEC boss.
In a statement, outgoing President Muhammadu Buhari congratulated Tinubu, saying that he is the best person for the job.
President Buhari’s spokesman, Garba Shehu, quoted the Nigerian leader as saying, “I congratulate His Excellency Bola Ahmed Tinubu on his victory. Elected by the people, he is the best person for the job. I shall now work with him and his team to ensure an orderly handover of power.
“The election was Africa’s largest democratic exercise. In a region that has undergone backsliding and military coups in recent years, this election demonstrates democracy’s continued relevance and capability to deliver for the people it serves.
“Within Nigeria, the results reveal democracy’s ripening in our country. Never has the electoral map shifted so drastically in one cycle. In the presidential elections, states in all regions across the nation changed colour. Some amongst you may have noticed my home state amongst them. The winning candidate did not carry his own home state either. That happens during a competitive election. Votes and those that cast them cannot be taken for granted. Each must be earned. Competition is good for our democracy. There is no doubt the people’s decision has been rendered in the results we look at today.
“That is not to say the exercise was without fault. For instance, there were technical problems with electronic transmission of the results. Of course, there will be areas that need work to bring further transparency and credibility to the voting procedure. However, none of the issues registered represent a challenge to the freeness and fairness of the elections.
“I know some politicians and candidates may not agree with this view. That too is fine. If any candidate believes they can prove the fraud they claim is committed against them, then bring forward the evidence. If they cannot, then we must conclude that the election was indeed the people’s will – no matter how hard that may be for the losers to accept. If they feel the need to challenge, please take it to the courts, not to the streets.
“However, to do the latter means they are not doing it in the interest of the people, but rather to inflame, to put people in harm’s way and all for personal, selfish gains.
“After a degree of polarization that necessarily accompanies any election, it is now time to come together and act responsibly. I call on all candidates to remember the peace pledge they signed just days before the election. Do not undermine the credibility of INEC. Let us now move forward as one. The people have spoken.”
Presidential election took place February 25
Nigerians went to the polls on Saturday to elect a new president and 468 federal lawmakers. There were 18 candidates from 18 political parties for the presidency, while over 4,000 candidates stood for elections into the two chambers of the National Assembly.
About 1,100 candidates competed for 109 seats in the senate while 3057 others contested for 360 seats in the House of Representatives.
At least 87 million Nigerians were expected to cast their ballots, according to the country’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
INEC announced that 93.5 million Nigerians registered to vote in the general election. However, just over 87 million of them picked their Permanent Voters Cards (PVC) and were allowed to vote. There were also about 1.5 million people who will serve as political parties’ agents.
Voting took place in 176,846 polling units spread across Nigeria’s 36 states and the capital Abuja. Nigeria has 774 local councils and 8,809 wards.
The president-elect will be sworn into office on May 29 to replace President Muhammadu Buhari who was barred from running again after a two-year term, while the lawmakers who will be elected on Saturday will be inaugurated in June as members of the 10th session of the bi-camera federal legislature.
The presidential candidates and their political parties were Christopher Imumolen (Accord), Hamza Al-Mustapha (AA), Omoyele Sowore (AAC), Dumebi Kachikwu (ADC), Yabani Sani (ADP), Bola Tinubu (APC), Peter Umeadi (APGA), Princess Ojei (APM) and Charles Nnadi (APP). Others are Sunday Adenuga (BP), Peter Obi (LP), Rabi’u Kwankwaso (NNPP), Felix Osakwe (NRM), Atiku Abubakar (PDP), Kola Abiola (PRP), Adebayo Adewole (SDP), Ado Ibrahim Abdulmalik (YPP) and Dan Nwanyanwu (ZLP).
In Washington, United States President Joseph R. Biden Jr. last Thursday called for a peaceful and fair presidential election in Nigeria this weekend.
In a statement, Biden commended the peace accord signed by the political parties and candidates running in Nigeria’s presidential election on February 25.
He said, “I commend yesterday’s peace accord in Nigeria, signed by the political parties and candidates running in Nigeria’s presidential election on February 25. By signing this pledge, the parties and candidates have committed to accept the results of the election, as announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission, and to support a peaceful transition of power.
“Elections are a fundamental part of a functioning democracy, and all Nigerians deserve this chance to choose their future — freely and fairly. While the United States does not support any single candidate or party, we strongly support a peaceful and transparent process that reflects the will of the people of Nigeria. On election day, I encourage all Nigerians — no matter their religion, region, or ethnicity — to exercise this fundamental freedom and make their voices heard — including young voters, many of whom may be heading to the ballot box for the first time.
“The United States stands with the Nigerian people as they chart a path toward a more democratic, prosperous, and secure future. I appreciate President Buhari’s firm commitment that the will of the people will be respected. And in the coming days, I encourage voters to remain peaceful and patient as their ballots are tallied, and urge the political parties and candidates to live up to their pledge.”
FULL SPEECH BY TINUBU AFTER ELECTION VICTORY: “THE ERA OF RENEWED HOPE“
By The President-Elect of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,
Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu
March 1, 2023
My fellow Nigerians,
I am profoundly humbled that you have elected me to serve as the 16th President of our beloved Republic. This is a shining moment in the life of any man and affirmation of our democratic existence. From my heart, I say thank you.
Whether you are Batified, Atikulated, Obidient, Kwankwasiyya, or have any other political affiliation, you voted for a better, more hopeful nation and I thank you for your participation and dedication to our democracy.
You decided to place your trust in the democratic vision of a Nigeria founded on shared prosperity and one nurtured by the ideals of unity, justice, peace and tolerance. Renewed hope has dawned in Nigeria.
We commend INEC for running a free and fair election. The lapses that did occur were relatively few in number and were immaterial to the final outcome. With each cycle of elections, we steadily perfect this process so vital to our democratic life.
Today, Nigeria stands tall as the giant of Africa. It shines even brighter as the continent’s biggest democracy.
I thank all who supported my campaign. From President Buhari who adeptly led my campaign as its chairman, to my Vice Presidential Candidate, Senator Kashim Shettima.
To the progressive governors of our party and this nation, to the party leadership, to our loyal party members. I owe you a debt of gratitude. To the entire campaign organisation, I thank you sincerely.
I thank my loving wife and dear family whose support was ceaseless and inspiring. Without you, this victory would not be possible.
I am grateful to Almighty God. By His mercy, I was born a son of Nigeria and through His sublime purpose, I find myself the victor of this election. May He grant me the wisdom and courage to lead the nation to the greatness He alone has destined for it.
Finally, I thank the Nigerian people for their abiding belief in our democracy. I shall be a fair leader to all Nigerians. I will be in tune with your aspirations, charge up your energies and harness your talents to deliver a nation that we can be proud of.
To my fellow candidates, former VP Atiku, former governor Kwankwaso, former governor Obi and all others, I extend the hand of friendship. This was a competitive, high-spirited campaign.
You have my utmost respect.
Political competition must now give way to political conciliation and inclusive governance.
During the election, you may have been my opponent but you were never my enemy. In my heart, you are my brothers.
Still, I know some candidates will be hard put to accept the election results. It is your right to seek legal recourse. What is neither right nor defensible is for anybody to resort to violence. Any challenge to the electoral outcome should be made in a court of law, and not in the streets.
I also ask my supporters to let peace reign and tensions fade. We ran a principled, peaceful and progressive campaign. The aftermath of our campaign must be as benign.
Yes, there are divisions amongst us that should not exist. Many people are uncertain, angry and hurt; I reach out to every one of you. Let the better aspects of our humanity step forward at this fateful moment. Let us begin to heal and bring calm to our nation.
Now, to you, the young people of this country, I hear you loud and clear. I understand your pains, your yearnings for good governance, a functional economy and a safe nation that protects you and your future.
I am aware that for many of you, Nigeria has become a place of abiding challenges, limiting your ability to see a bright future for yourselves.
Remodelling our precious national home requires the harmonious efforts of all of us, especially the youth. Working together, we shall move this nation as never before.
My running mate, Vice President-elect Shettima, and I understand the challenges ahead. More importantly, we also understand and deeply value the talent and innate goodness of you, the Nigerian people. We pledge to listen and to do the difficult things, the big deeds, that put us on the path of irreversible progress. Hold us firmly to account, but please give us a chance first.
Together, we shall build a brighter and more productive society for today, tomorrow and for years to come.
Today, you have given me the greatest honour you can bestow on one man.
In return, I will give you my utmost as your next President and Commander-in-chief. Peace, unity and prosperity shall be the cornerstones of the society we intend to build. When you gaze upon what we shall accomplish in the coming years, you shall speak with pride at being a Nigerian.
I thank you all.
God bless you all.
God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.