The All Progressive Congress' (APC) presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, emerged the winner of the Nigerian presidential election held on Feb. 25.
As announced by Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Tinubu polled a total number of 8,794,726 votes against his major opponents; Abubakar Atiku of the People's Democratic Party who polled a total number of 6,984,520 votes; Peter Obi of the Labour Party trailing behind with 6,101,553 votes and the New Nigeria People's party's (NNPC) candidate, Rabiu Kwankwaso came fourth with a total number of 1,496,687.
The president-elect who served as a two- term governor of Lagos State won in a total number of 12 states and also scored over 25 percent of votes cast in 29 states which is more than the 24 states that is required constitutionally; while his opponents, Atiku also claimed victory in 12 states, Obi won in 11 states including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and Kwankwaso won in 1 state.
According to the Nigerian constitution, a presidential candidate must secure the highest number of votes cast at the election and he or she must secure not less than 25 percent of votes cast in at least two-thirds of all states of the federation including the FCT in order to be announced winner.
Tinubu in his acceptance speech broadcasted by Television Continental (TVC) thanked Nigerians and promised to serve them; he said "my fellow Nigerians, I am profoundly humbled that you have elected me to serve as the 16th president of our beloved republic. This is a shining moment in the life of any man and affirmation of our democratic existence. I hereby accept it to serve you, to be your servant and not be your leader, to work with you and make Nigeria a great country.”
Additionally, he promised the Nigerian youths that the incessant strike plaguing the nation’s university education would be a thing of the past with his victory at the polls. He vowed to pay undivided attention to the education system and make sure universities will have autonomy.
He further urged and appealed to his opponents to support him and work together to fix broken pieces for the unity, happiness and harmony of the country.
Meanwhile, following the emergence of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu as the winner of the 2023 Presidential election, President Muhammadu Buhari, has described the winner as the best person for the job.
In his congratulatory message to Tinubu, the President said: “I congratulate His Excellency Bola Ahmed Tinubu on his victory. Elected by the people, he is the best person for the job. I shall now work with him and his team to ensure an orderly handover of power.”
The president added that there was not to say the exercise was without fault as there were technical problems with electronic transmission of the results but there were no issues registered that presented a challenge to the freeness and fairness of the election. He however noted that there were areas that needed work to bring further transparency and credibility to the voting procedure.
The UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak congratulated the president-elect on his victory. He stated that the UK-Nigeria relationship remained strong and hopes to work together to grow business opportunities and trade ties.
Volodymyr Zelensky, the Ukrainian president, also sent his congratulatory message and hopes that the Ukraine-Nigeria bilateral interaction will strengthen.
Furthermore, the swearing in of the president-elect as the 16th president is expected to hold on May 29, 2023, however after the transfer of power, the next president of Nigeria will inherit 44.6 trillion naira public debt, 20 million out-of-school children and 23.2 million unemployed citizens.
Finally, according to INEC 8.72 million Nigerians collected their permanent voters’ card (PVCs) and were eligible to vote but only 24.2 million Nigerians casted their votes.
The 2023 general election has recorded the lowest turnout of any presidential election in Nigeria as against 29 million voters in 2019 and 2015 respectively, 39 million in 2011, 34 million in 2007, 42 million in 2003 and 30 million in 1999.
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