The presidential election in Nigeria, widely regarded as one of the most fiercely contested and high-stakes polls in the country’s history, has seen Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), emerge as the winner. The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu, declared Tinubu’s victory at the National Collation Centre in Abuja, a hall teeming with journalists, party agents and observers, shortly after 4 am on Wednesday.
Professor Yakubu pronounced, “That Tinubu Bola Ahmed of the APC, having fulfilled the legal requirements, is hereby declared the winner and elected.” His announcement, which was watched with bated breath by Nigerians and many people around the world, marked the conclusion of a fraught presidential election that was marred by controversy, violence and ballot box snatching in some parts of the country on February 25 during the election.
Tinubu, a 70-year-old former governor of Lagos State, won in 12 of Nigeria’s 36 states, and secured significant numbers in several other states to amass a total of 8,794,726 votes, almost two million more than his closest challenger, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who garnered 6,984,520 votes. Peter Obi, the candidate of the Labour Party (LP), who in less than a year mobilized young voters in what some have described as an unprecedented manner, finished the race with 6,101,533 votes, winning the polls in 11 states, including Tinubu’s home state of Lagos, and the nation’s capital, Abuja.
Abubakar, like Tinubu, emerged victorious in 12 states, and ended his sixth bid for the presidency with 6,984,520 votes. Rabiu Kwankwaso, the former governor of Kano State and candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), came fourth, with 1,496,687 votes, having secured victory in his home state.
The outcome of this highly contested presidential election underscores the critical role that elections play in Nigeria’s political landscape and the importance of democratic processes in building a stable and prosperous nation.