Nigeria’s Bola Tinubu claims victory in presidential election
ABUJA, Nigeria — The ruling party’s candidate Bola Tinubu was declared the winner of the Nigerian presidential election early Wednesday morning and shortly thereafter thanked his supporters and called on his opponents, who is asking for a vote in Africa’s most populous country.
The announcement by election officials on the night was likely to lead to a court challenge by the second and third highest finishers in the weekend vote, Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi. Abubakar also placed second in the final vote in 2019, then appealed those results before his case was finally dismissed.
Tinubu’s ruling All Progressive Congress party urged the opposition to accept Tuesday’s defeat and not cause trouble after it demanded a vote, saying delays in uploading election results had created opportunity for the unusual.
Tinubu received 37% of the vote, or nearly 8.8 million, while main opposition candidate Abubakar won 29% with nearly 7 million. Third place was Obi with 25% with about 6.1 million, according to the results announced by the Independent National Election Commission on live television.
The president-elect thanked his supporters in the capital Abuja after his victory was announced and struck a conciliatory tone in a message directed at his political opponents.
Tinubu said: “I take this opportunity to call on my fellow contestants to work together. It’s the only country we have. It’s a country and we have to build it together.”
The announcement of his victory came after 4 a.m., but celebrations began late Tuesday at the ruling party’s national secretariat, where Tinubu supporters had gathered to wait. waiting for his victory.
“None of the others match his record!” Babafemi Akin spoke as he excitedly chatted about the prospects of the Tinubu government. “I’m sure he’ll do well.”
Tinubu, 70, is the former governor of Lagos state, home to Nigeria’s megalopolis of the same name. However, he lost the state in Saturday’s election to Obi, who has drawn strong support among young voters eager for change.
Parties now have three weeks to appeal the results, but an election can only be voided if it is proven that the national election authority largely failed to follow the law and acted in a way that could change the outcome. fruit.
Nigeria’s Supreme Court has never annulled a presidential election, although court challenges are common, including outgoing President Muhammadu Buhari, who has steadfastly fought for the defeats. in his previous election for months in vain.
Nigeria’s presidential election has been closely watched as the country is not only the continent’s largest economy but also one of the continent’s top oil producers.
Observers said Saturday’s election was mostly peaceful, although delays caused some voters to wait until the next day to cast their ballots. Many Nigerians have difficulty getting to polling stations because the currency redesign has resulted in a shortage of banknotes.
Associated Press journalists Taiwo Ajayi in Abuja, Nigeria; Krista Larson in Dakar, Senegal; and Sam Mednick of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso contributed.