September 24, 2023

Supporters of Presidential candidate Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress rejoice forward of the ultimate declaration of election outcomes, at his marketing campaign headquarters in Abuja, Nigeria Wednesday, March 1, 2023. Tensions rose in Nigeria Tuesday as the principle opposition events demanded a revote for the nation’s presidential election, the place the newest outcomes present an early lead for the ruling get together. (AP Photograph/Ben Curtis)

ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — Ruling get together candidate Bola Tinubu was declared winner of Nigeria’s presidential election early Wednesday and shortly after thanked his supporters and appealed to his rivals who’re already demanding a revote in Africa’s most populous nation.

The announcement by election officers in a single day was more likely to result in a courtroom problem by the second- and third-highest finishers within the weekend vote, Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi. Abubakar additionally completed second within the final vote in 2019, then appealed these outcomes earlier than his lawsuit in the end was dismissed.

Tinubu’s ruling All Progressives Congress get together urged the opposition to simply accept defeat Tuesday and never trigger hassle after they’d demanded a revote saying that delays in importing election outcomes had made room for irregularities.

Tinubu obtained 37% of the vote, or almost 8.8 million, whereas important opposition candidate Abubakar gained 29% with virtually 7 million. Third-place finisher Obi took 25% with about 6.1 million, based on the outcomes introduced on reside tv by the Impartial Nationwide Electoral Fee.

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The president-elect thanked his supporters within the capital, Abuja, after his victory was introduced and struck a reconciliatory tone in a message directed at his political adversaries.

“I take this chance to enchantment to my fellow contestants to allow us to staff up collectively,” Tinubu mentioned. “It’s the solely nation we have now. It’s one nation and we should construct collectively.”

The announcement of his victory got here after 4 a.m., however celebrations already had began late Tuesday on the ruling get together’s nationwide secretariat the place Tinubu’s supporters had gathered in anticipation of his victory.

“Not one of the others matches his report!” mentioned Babafemi Akin as he chatted excitedly in regards to the prospects of a Tinubu administration. “I’m certain he’ll do effectively.”

Tinubu, 70, is the previous governor of Lagos state, house to Nigeria’s megacity of the identical title. Nonetheless, he misplaced the state in Saturday’s election to Obi, who drew a powerful following amongst youthful voters anticipating change.

The events now have three weeks to enchantment outcomes, however an election will be invalidated provided that it’s confirmed the nationwide electoral physique largely didn’t comply with the legislation and acted in ways in which may have modified the consequence.

The Supreme Courtroom of Nigeria has by no means overturned a presidential election, although courtroom challenges are frequent, together with by outgoing President Muhammadu Buhari, who doggedly fought his previous election losses for months in useless.

Nigeria’s presidential election has been carefully watched because the nation just isn’t solely the continent’s largest financial system however it is usually one of many continent’s high oil producers.

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Observers have mentioned Saturday’s election was largely peaceable, although delays brought about some voters to attend till the next day to solid their ballots. Many Nigerians had difficulties attending to their polling stations due to a forex redesign that resulted in a scarcity of financial institution notes.


Related Press journalists Taiwo Ajayi in Abuja, Nigeria; Krista Larson in Dakar, Senegal; and Sam Mednick in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso contributed.