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HomeNewsDisputed Election: Tinubu Wins Most Votes for Nigeria's Ruling Party

Disputed Election: Tinubu Wins Most Votes for Nigeria’s Ruling Party

Disputed Election: Tinubu Wins Most Votes for Nigeria’s Ruling Party

According to final results released on Wednesday, Bola Tinubu, the candidate of the ruling party, won the most votes in Nigeria’s highly contested election over the weekend, almost certainly securing him the presidency of Africa’s most populous democracy.

The Independent National Electoral Commission, or INEC, must still confirm whether Tinubu received 25 percent of the vote in two-thirds of Nigeria’s 36 states and capital for him to be confirmed as president.

INEC results indicate that Tinubu, the candidate for the All Progressives Congress (APC) party, received 8.8 million votes compared to 6.9 million for Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and 6.1 million for Peter Obi of the Labour Party.

Later on Wednesday, INEC was expected to announce the final result for the two-thirds rule.

With the departure of President Muhammadu Buhari, many Nigerians hoped that Saturday’s election would pave the way for a leader capable of combating insecurity, alleviating economic malaise, and managing poverty in their West African nation.

The voting was generally peaceful, but there were lengthy delays at many polling stations, and technical issues prevented the uploading of results to a central website, fueling suspicions of vote fraud.

PDP and Labour parties have already demanded that the vote be annulled and a new election be held, citing allegations of massive manipulation of vote counts.

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INEC responded, “Contrary to the insinuation of both parties, results from the states point to a free, fair, and credible process.”

It stated that parties must allow the process to run its course before filing claims in court.

Tinubu, 70, a longtime political kingmaker who campaigned on his experience as Lagos governor from 1999 to 2007, ran on the slogan “It’s my turn” to govern Africa’s largest economy.

He promised “Renewing Hope” but faced questions from rivals regarding his health, alleged graft in the past, and ties to Buhari, whom many critics say failed to make Nigeria safer.

For the first time since Nigeria ended military rule in 1999, the election was a close contest, as Obi, 61, attracted younger voters with his message of change from his political old-guard opponents.

Nearly 90 million Nigerians were eligible to vote, with nearly 10 million of them being new voters, many of whom were under the age of 34 and eager to affect change in Nigeria.

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Obi’s victory in Lagos, the state with the most registered voters and the traditional stronghold of Tinubu, known as the “godfather of Lagos,” was a surprising outcome.

With its glitzy Nollywood film scene and global Afrobeats stars like Burna Boy, the state’s namesake megacity has put Nigeria on the cultural map, but nearly half of Nigerians live in poverty and inflation is double digits.

The incoming Nigerian leader will face formidable security challenges. More than two million people have been displaced by a grinding Islamist insurgency in the northeast, while bandit militias conduct mass abductions in the northwest and separatists attack police in the southeast.

Allegations of fraud

For the election, INEC implemented biometric voter identification technology for the first time on a national scale, as well as its IReV central database for uploading results to increase transparency.

However, opposition parties asserted that failures in the system to upload tallies enabled ballot manipulation and resulted in disparities between the manual counts at local polling stations.

Tuesday, Labour Party leader Julius Abure told reporters, “The election is irretrievably compromised.” “We demand the immediate cancellation of this fraudulent election.”

Long voting delays and slow results frustrated and enraged many voters.

The ruling APC party dismissed the opposition’s claims as an attempt to “stifle” democracy because the PDP and Labour parties were aware of their impending defeat.

However, international observers, including those from the European Union, noted significant logistical issues, disenfranchised voters, and a lack of transparency on the part of INEC.

The local observer organization Yiaga stated that it conducted a parallel vote count for the presidential election and would hold a press conference after the official results were released.

“We will be able to expose any manipulation of the official results,” Yiaga stated.

INEC was forced to postpone the 2019 election by one-week mere hours before the polls opened. Abubakar of the PDP cried fraud when Buhari defeated him the first time, but the supreme court later dismissed his claim.