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Africa Last Updated: Feb 7, 2024 - 1:42:03 PM

Bola Ahmed Tinubu will be Nigeria’s next president
By MENAS, 1 March 2023
Mar 2, 2023 - 4:08:39 PM

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Bola Ahmed Tinubu wins Nigeria’s controversial 2023 presidential election

In a very keenly contested presidential election, Lagos State’s 1999-2007 governor, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has won the country’s presidential election and is now on course to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari on 29 May when he will be sworn in.

He will have had three months to get prepared to take on a role which, as he has he confessed, has been a lifelong ambition. In order to win Tinubu overcame tough hurdles, including a currency and fuel shortage crisis which he claimed had been deliberately designed to stop him from winning the elections.

Tinubu also had to overcome a poor record in government of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) which that forced him to build his campaign messaging around his record in Lagos State rather than on President Buhari’s legacy. Yet, with just over eight million votes, he is winning the elections with one of the lowest ever vote counts since Nigeria returned to democratic rule in 1999. Tinubu was only able to garner about 35% of all the votes cast in the national elections. Atiku Abubakar of the main Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) opposition came second with around 27% of total votes cast, with the Labour Party’s Peter Obi coming a close third with 24%. See INEC for comprehensive results and here for state-by-state results.

Interestingly, all three parties won 12 states so Tinubu therefore becomes president by winning about the lowest number of states ever worn by any presidential candidate since 1999. More states voted against Tinubu than for him. The number states won by the ruling party can be seen as a vote of no confidence in the APC. Obi won 11 states plus the Federal Capital Territory of Abuja while Abubakar also won 12 predominantly northern states but he also caused an upset by winning Bayelsa State in the South-South. On the other hand, Obi also had a surprising victory in Lagos State and Abuja. As expected the New Nigeria Peoples Party’s (NNPP) Rabiu Kwankwaso won his stronghold of Kano.

The narrow margin of victory and the credibility crisis that has trailed the vote has, however, cast a shadow over Tinubu’s win. Both the PDP and Labour Party boycotted the collation of the election results on and were not in the collation hall to sign the result sheets when Tinubu was declared the winner by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). The opposition parties held a media briefing earlier in the day in which they: urged the INEC to cancel the results; and demanded that the commission’s chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, should resign because of the INEC’s failings during the election process.

The expectation is that both parties are going to challenge the election outcome in court. There are clear signs that INEC did not strictly follow its own rules and guidelines which it had established for how Nigeria’s elections should be run. It is unclear, however, if this will be sufficient for the results to be overturned. There is a risk that some results in some states could be overturned and give room for a runoff because of the very narrow margin of victory. It is unlikely, however, that the whole election will be cancelled due to the irregularities.

The coming days will see many twists and turns, including some of the issues facing the gubernatorial and National Assembly elections on 11 March. 

Source:Ocnus.net 2023

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