Updated by Faith Barbara Namagembe at 1705 EAT on Thursday 2 March 2023.
Nigeria’s electoral commission has declared ruling party candidate Bola Ahmed Tinubu the winner of Saturday’s presidential election. The announcement comes a day after opposition candidates called the election a “sham” and demanded a revote.
In the early morning announcement broadcast on state-run National Television Authority, Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared Bola Ahmed Tinubu the next president of Nigeria.
INEC chairman Mahmood Yakubu said Tinubu, the ruling All Progressives Congress party candidate, received almost 8.8 million votes to win the most hotly contested race since Nigeria became a democracy.
His main challengers were People’s Democratic Party candidate Atiku Abubakar and Labor Party candidate Peter Obi. Yakubu said Abubakar, a former vice president, won nearly seven million votes, while Obi, a former governor of southeast Anambra State, took more than six million.
Supporters celebrated the victory of 70-year-old Tinubu, a former governor of Nigeria’s economic capital Lagos, who is often called a political “godfather.”
But opposition supporters are not celebrating. Abuja resident Augustine Ameh woke up to the news and said that, “I’m really not excited about the outcome of the presidential elections because I feel that a lot of Nigerians were not given the opportunity to speak out with their votes.”
“I feel this is not a victory for Nigeria,” Ameh added. “This is a victory for a select few.”
Tinubu gave an acceptance speech in the capital, Abuja, calling for all Nigerians, including the opposition, to unite for the country. But opposition leaders Tuesday called the election a “sham” and demanded a revote after technical and staff delays that saw voting continue into Sunday and a slow tally of votes.
They allege voter suppression and vote manipulation and are expected to officially challenge the results in court. The INEC says about 25 million Nigerians out of 87 million eligible voters cast their ballots in the election — the lowest number in decades.