Nigeria’s ruling party candidate Bola Tinubu has been declared the winner of the African nation’s disputed presidential election.
Nigeria’s opposition parties have already contested the result, calling for a rerun of the election, citing violence and rigging that allegedly took place during Saturday’s polling.
Mr Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos state and member of the ruling All Progressives Congress party, received 37 per cent of the vote, according to the electoral commission.
His main opponent Atiku Abubakar from the People’s Democratic Party received 29 per cent of the votes, while Labour’s Peter Obi polled 25 per cent.
Mr Tiubu, 70, is one of the richest politicians in Africa’s most populous nation.
Outgoing president Muhammadu Buhari is stepping down after two terms in office that saw a rise in economic crisis.
Now, the new leader is tasked with solving the troubled country’s struggles with Islamist insurgencies, armed attacks, killings and kidnappings, conflict between livestock herders and farmers, cash, fuel and power shortages, as well as perennial corruption.
During the election campaign, Mr Tinubu asked voters to elect him on his track record of rebuilding Lagos city as a governor, where he is credited with reducing violent crime, improving the city’s traffic jams and making the city cleaner.
The veteran, nevertheless, appeared frail at times in public, slurring his speech and skipping several campaign events.
Mr Tinubu “having satisfied the requirements of the law, is hereby declared the winner and is returned elected”, said election chief Mahmood Yakubu, while announcing his victory after 4am on Wednesday.
The opposition parties, however, cried foul over the flowed election process, which suffered multiple technical difficulties due to the introduction of a new technology by the Independent National Electoral Commission.
The ruling party has asked the opponents to concede defeat without creating trouble.
“The results being declared at the National Collation centre have been heavily doctored and manipulated and do not reflect the wishes of Nigerians expressed at the polls,” the opposition parties said in a joint statement.
The election commission responded by saying: “There are laid down procedures for aggrieved parties or candidates to follow when they are dissatisfied about the outcome of an election.”
The opposition is likely to move court to appeal the results. Although they have three weeks’ time, an election can be invalidated only if it’s proven the electoral body largely acted against the law.
The Supreme Court of Nigeria has never overturned a presidential election.