Nigerians React To President-Elect Bola Tinubu’s Victory
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Nigerians React To President-Elect Bola Tinubu’s Victory

After a contested election, Bola Tinubu was declared the winner of Nigeria’s presidential election. He will be the first Nigerian president to take office with less than 50% of the vote.

Bola Tinubu, front runner of the All Progressives Party, has been declared the winner of Nigeria’s presidental elections.

On March 1, 2023, Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, announced the results on live television just after 4 a.m. WAT. The results of the election concluded that Tinubu, frontrunner of the All Progressives Congress (APC), received a total of 8,794,726 votes, ahead of his major opponents Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who secured 6,984,520 votes, and Peter Obi of Labour Party (LP), who received 6,101,533 votes. Yakubu announced that a total of 24,966,218 votes were cast by Nigerians, and out of the votes, only 24,025,940 were valid with 939,278 votes dismissed.

Tinubu received around 37% of the vote; he will be the first Nigerian president to take office with less than 50% of the vote. The news of Nigeria’s presidential elect has swept through the country, eliciting joy in some enthusiastic voters and triggering disappointment and trepidation in others.

During his campaign, Tinubu used the Yoruba slogan "Emi lo kan," which means "It's my turn,” but some Nigerians do not think he deserves a turn. So far, the nation is divided. There is a growing community of young Nigerians, who were mostly hoping for Obi, sharing their views on social media.

Following the news, Tinubu’s Campaign spokesperson Ajuri Ngelale spoke with CNN’s Zain Asher and seemingly responded to some of the criticism.

Other spectators stated that it would be unfair to allege any form of election fraud without tangible proof.

The chain of events has motivated the opposing parties to challenge the win, stating that the election was fraudulent and rigged on many levels. Voting took place on Saturday. And many voters have spoken out about the various technical failures at polling stations. On Tuesday, the country’s main opposition parties described the results of the election as “heavily doctored and manipulated” in a joint news conference.

According to Al Jazeera, Tinubu’s All Progressives Congress party urged the opposition to accept defeat, but several members of the opposing parties, including Obi’s running mate Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed, have promised to challenge the outcome legally. Obi has not made an official statement yet but promised to address the nation in due time. Abubakar, too, is yet to address his political followers publicly.

In an official statement, the United States congratulated Tinubu. In a statement, State Department spokesman Ned Price said:

“The United States congratulates the people of Nigeria, president-elect Tinubu and all the political leaders... This competitive election represents a new period for Nigerian politics and democracy."