LAGOS-Ruling party candidate Bola Tinubu won Nigeria’s highly disputed weekend election, electoral authorities said on Wednesday, securing the former Lagos governor the presidency of Africa’s most populous democracy.
With President Muhammadu Buhari stepping down after two terms, many Nigerians hoped Saturday’s vote would usher in a leader capable of tackling the country’s widening insecurity, economic malaise and growing poverty. Tinubu, 70, the candidate for All Progressives Congress (APC) party, won 8.8 million votes against 6.9 million for opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate Atiku Abubakar and 6.1 million for Labour Party’s Peter Obi, according to final results.
The Independent National Electoral Commission, or INEC, confirmed Tinubu also secured the required 25 percent of votes in two-thirds of Nigeria’s 36 states and capital, a threshold to be confirmed president. “Tinubu, Bola Ahmed, of the APC, having satisfied the requirements of the law, is hereby declared the winner and is returned elected,” INEC chairman Mahmood Yakubu said.Even before the final tallies, Labour and PDP had already called for the vote to be cancelled, alleging massive manipulation of the results. It was not clear whether they would take their case to court.Tinubu, 70, a long-time political kingmaker who ran on his experience as Lagos governor from 1999 to 2007, campaigned saying “It’s my turn” to govern Africa’s largest economy.
He promised “Renewed Hope” but faced questions from rivals over his health, past graft accusations and ties to Buhari, who many critics say failed in his promise to make Nigeria safer.
Supporters cheered and danced to Afrobeats music at the APC’s campaign headquarters in the capital Abuja as the final results were being tallied in the early hours of Wednesday.
“He had done it before, and we know that he will do better than what he did in Lagos,” said supporter Adenike Mutiat Abubakar, 43. “He’s the man of the people, so that’s why everybody wants him.”