Electoral commission declares Bola Tinubu victor in Nigerian presidential election

Friday, March 3, 2023

Tinubu in 2011.
Image: Chatham House.

On Wednesday, Nigeria's Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) announced Bola Tinubu, nominee of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), won the nation's presidential election on Saturday.

According to the INEC, Tinubu received 8,794,726 votes (36.61%), carrying 12 states; turnout was 27%.

Citing discrepancies between vote totals recorded at local voting places and the INEC's data, both opposition parties — the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Labour Party — alleged fraud. Both demanded a repeat of the election and the INEC chairman's resignation.

Dozens of protestors took to the streets in the capital, Abuja, and southern Delta State, while the United Nations released a statement urging "all stakeholders to remain calm through the conclusion of the electoral process".

The INEC's results showed Atiku Abubakar, of the PDP, who has sought the presidency multiple times, won 6,984,520 votes (29.07%) and 12 states; Labour's Peter Obi received 6,101,533 votes (25%), winning 11 states, including the Nigerian capital territory of Abuja.

Shortly after 4:00 a.m. West Africa Time (0300 UTC) Wednesday, INEC chairman Mahmood Yakubu went on television to announce Tinubu's victory.

Tinubu addressed supporters in his campaign headquarters in Abuja: "I take this opportunity to appeal to my fellow contestants to let us team up together.

"It is the only nation we have. It is one country and we must build together."

One of the wealthiest Nigerian politicians, Tinubu is a former governor of Lagos State, home to Lagos, the country's biggest city; Obi carried the state on Saturday, however.

Tinubu's campaign emphasised debt reduction, infrastructure and security.