Nigerians have chosen a new president, who will take office on May 29. The All Progressives Congress (APC), the party now in power in Africa’s largest democracy, was proclaimed the winner of the presidential election on Wednesday with Bola Tinubu as his candidate.
As he expressed gratitude to his supporters, Mr. Tinubu made an appeal for amity with his opponents, who have already called for the annulment of the election after alleging voter suppression and INEC’s failure to upload polling unit results from the more than 176,000 polling places to a web portal in accordance with its guidelines.
Mr. Tinubu, 70, received the most votes of any candidate in the poll on Saturday, winning with 8,794,726 votes, fulfilling a goal he called a longtime desire.
Moreover, he received more votes than the constitutionally needed 24 states, or over 25% of the ballots cast in 29 states.
Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who was his main opponent, finished second with 6,984,520 votes. Peter Obi of the Labour Party received 6,101,533 votes overall, while Rabiu Kwankwaso of the NNPP finished in fourth place with 1,496,687 votes.
Atiku Abubakar, the PDP candidate, came in second place, followed by Peter Obi, the LP candidate, and Rabiu Kwankwaso, the NNPP candidate.
Even though Messrs. Atiku and Obi promised to challenge the procedure in court, INEC has already given Mr. Tinubu and his running mate, Kashim Shettima, certificates of return.
The results, according to outgoing president Muhammadu Buhari, showed a significant change in Nigeria’s electoral landscape. “The results show that democracy is maturing in our nation. Never in a single cycle has the electoral landscape changed so significantly, he tweeted.
While Mr. Tinubu performed better in the 2023 election than his rivals, according to official figures, he is the least popular president-elect since Nigeria returned to democracy in 1999.
One of the lowest thresholds achieved by an elected president in Nigeria’s Fourth Republic, which started in 1999, was Mr. Tinubu’s victory in the election on Saturday. 37% of the votes cast in the election went to the previous governor of Lagos. No other candidate for president-elect received fewer than 50% of the total votes.
In the 2019 election, which resulted in the beginning of President Buhari’s second and last term in office, he received 55.6 percent of the vote. In the election, Mr. Buhari received more than 15 million votes from Nigerians, with PDP candidate Atiku coming in second.
In the 2015 election that put him in power, Mr. Buhari defeated President Goodluck Jonathan with 53.9% of the vote. In 2011, Mr. Jonathan received 56% of the popular vote.
President Umaru Yar’Adua won a record-breaking 69.8% of the votes cast in 2007, which was the first election that resulted in the first transfer of power from one civilian leader to another.
In the elections of 2003 and 1999, President Olusegun Obasanjo received 61.8% and 62.8% of the votes, respectively.
In contrast to his predecessors, Mr. Tinubu also won the presidency with the fewest votes (8.7 million). Nigeria had seven elections between 1999 and 2023. In the previous six election cycles, every prior president was elected with at least 15 million votes.
With INEC implementing an electronic voter accreditation system and results-viewing facility that improved transparency and accessibility, the 2023 election was regarded as Nigeria’s most technologically advanced with the introduction of BVAS and IREV by INEC.
When Mr. Obasanjo ran for re-election in 2003, he defeated current President Buhari, who was running on the platform of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) at the time, with 24.1 million votes. The number of votes Mr. Buhari received was barely 12.9 million.
Then, in 2007, Mr. Yar’Adua, the candidate Mr. Obasanjo personally selected, won the election with 24.6 million votes. Most observers agreed that the election in April 2007 fell far short of the requirements for credible, free, and fair elections and was the worst in Nigeria’s post-independence electoral history.
According to the Department for International Development report, “thus far, elections have served the interests mainly of the powerful elite and have had little, if any, significant impact on deepening representative democracy, let alone transforming people’s socio-economic livelihoods in a positive manner. The reports of domestic and international observers provide confirmation that all stages of the elections were fundamentally flawed.”
Former President Jonathan, a former governor of South-South Bayelsa state, received 22.4 million votes in the election’s final results. Mr. Buhari, his closest opponent in the polls, received 12.2 million votes.
But, in 2015, Mr. Buhari defeated Mr. Jonathan by more than 2.5 million votes to win his seat, and the results altered. In the 2015 election, the former military leader received 15.4 million votes while Mr. Jonathan received 12.8 million.
By 2019, Mr. Buhari had defeated former vice president Atiku to win a second term. He earned 15.2 million votes, compared to 11.3 million for the PDP.
The Nigerian presidential election in 2023 is thought to be the most competitive since 1979. Also, the election was the most closely contested and took place at a time when tensions in the nation are growing.
Twelve federated states were won by Mr. Tinubu. Mr. Abubakar and Mr. Obi, his two closest rivals, each won 12 states.
Once INEC released the results, the dynamics of this election and the voting patterns revealed to be the most unusual. For instance, Mr. Tinubu’s APC won in Rivers State, which is wealthy in oil, becoming the first opposition party to do so since 1999. Once more, Kwara State gained support for the claim that no president has ever been elected without taking the north-central state.
Mr. Obi, the candidate for the Labour Party, triumphed in Mr. Tinubu’s Lagos State as well as Nasarawa and Plateau, the states where Mr. Adamu and Governor Simon Lalong, the director general of the APC’s presidential campaign council, respectively, are from.
Benue, Borno, Ekiti, Jigawa, Kwara, Kogi, Niger, Ogun, Ondo, Oyo, Rivers, and Zamfara are the 12 states Mr. Tinubu ultimately won.
A president-elect has never won fewer than 12 states, which Mr. Tinubu did.
Mr. Buhari defeated his closest rival, Mr. Abubakar, who won in 18 states, in the 2019 election for his second term. Bauchi, Borno, Ekiti, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Lagos, Nasarawa, Niger, Ogun, Osun, Sokoto, Yobe, and Zamfara were among the states where Mr. Buhari saw gains.
In 2015, Mr. Buhari achieved a similar feat, winning 21 states, including Adamawa, Bauchi, Benue, Borno, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Niger, Lagos, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Oyo, Sokoto, Yobe, and Zamfara state.
Abia, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Bayelsa, Benue, Cross River, Delta, Ebonyi, Edo, Ekiti, Enugu, FCT, Imo, Kogi, Kwara, Lagos, Nasarawa, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Oyo, Plateau, and Rivers states were among the 23 states that Mr. Jonathan won in 2011.
Mr. Obasanjo won 27 states in the 2003 election, including Abia, Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Bayelsa, Benue, Cross River, Delta, Enugu, FCT, Imo, Kaduna, Kogi, Kwara, Lagos, Nasarawa, Niger, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Oyo, Plateau, Rivers, and Taraba.
Mr. Obasanjo triumphed in the 1999 elections in the following states: Abia, Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Benue, Borno, Cross River, Delta, Ebonyi, Edo,Enugu, Gombe, Imo, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Nasarawa, Niger, Plateau, Rivers, and Taraba states.
According to the Nigerian constitution, contenders must receive 25% of the vote in at least 24 states plus the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in order to win the presidency.
Mr. Tinubu received 25% of the vote in 29 federated states in the recently completed election. In the 2019 elections, outgoing President Buhari received 25% in 33 states, compared to 25% in 27 states in 2015.
Buhari’s predecessor, Mr. Jonathan, reached the 25% criterion in 34 states in 2011. Between 1999 and 2003, the former president Obasanjo received 25% of the votes cast in 33 states.
The low turnout is one element that might have worked against Mr. Tinubu in terms of the total number of votes cast but not in the other criteria.
Even though they are the most expensive, the 2023 elections have the lowest reported turnout of any presidential election since Nigeria returned to democracy in 1999, at 27%. According to INEC data, only 24.2 million of the 87.2 million Nigerians who had registered to vote and obtained their PVCs actually cast ballots. This effectively translates to the lowest presidential election turnout Nigeria has seen since independence: for every 10 eligible voters, less than three persons decided the outcome of the 2023 poll.