Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has been declared winner of arguably Nigeria’s most hotly contested and high-stakes presidential elections.
Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu, announced the former Lagos Governor’s victory, minutes past 4am on Wednesday at the National Collation Centre in Abuja, a hall packed full of journalists, party agents and observers.
“That Tinubu Bola Ahmed of the APC, having satisfied the requirement of the law, is hereby declared the winner and is returned elected,” Professor Yakubu declared in an announcement watched by an eager nation and many across the world.
Tinubu, 70, came out tops in 12 of Nigeria’s 36 states, and secured significant numbers in several other states to claim the highest number of votes — 8,794,726, almost two million votes more than his closest rival — former Vice President Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Abubakar, 76, who has now run for president six times, got 6,984,520 votes, while the candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi, who, in less than a year, galvanised young voters in a manner some have described as unprecedented finished the race with 6,101,533.
Obi, a former governor of Anambra State, won the polls in 11 states, including the home state of the APC candidate — Lagos. He also came out tops in the nation’s capital Abuja. Abubakar, like Tinubu, was victorious in 12 states.
Former Kano State Governor and candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), Rabiu Kwankwaso, finished fourth, claiming victory in his state — Kano. He secured 1,496,687 votes.
Professor Yakubu’s announcement, four days after the vote, brings to a climax a presidential election marred by controversy, violence and ballot box snatching in some states of the country on February 25 during the election.