(Ecofin Agency) - Five days after a tight presidential election that broke turnout records, Nigeria now has the name of its new president. At 70, Bola Tinubu who has long been considered a kingmaker will now lead Africa’s most populous country, which is facing a serious economic and security crisis.
Nigerian veteran politician, Bola Tinubu (photo) is the winner of the February 25 presidential election. The announcement was made earlier today by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in charge of organizing the election.
According to the INEC, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC)’s candidate received 8.8 million votes or 36.6% of the votes cast. He also won more than 25% of the votes in two-thirds of Nigeria's 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (Abuja), the main requirement for a candidate to be declared president in Nigeria.
This announcement is the culmination of an eventful and hotly contested election in a tense socio-economic context. The 2023 presidential election in Nigeria was held against a backdrop of sustained inflation, foreign exchange shortages, and sluggish economic growth, as well as insecurity fuelled by terrorist groups and organized crime. In some of the ruling party’s strongholds, the opposition made some breakthroughs (according to the INEC) due notably to the current government’s failure to address the three issues.
PDP candidate Atiku Abubakar won nearly 7 million votes or 29% of the votes cast. Relative newcomer Peter Obi won 6 million votes, or 25% of the votes, with his Labour Party (LP) surprising everyone by winning Lagos State, an APC stronghold.
The official result is likely to be challenged in the coming days since opposition parties have denounced massive fraud. The main opposition parties, PDP and LP have even called for the annulment of the February 28 election.
“The elections are irretrievably compromised and we have totally lost confidence in the whole process,” said LP chairman Julius Abure at a press conference, calling for a new election.
With the presidential election now out of the way, Nigerian voters must now return to the polls to elect state governors. This election could allow the opposition to score more points against the ruling party.
Moutiou Adjibi Nourou