Tinubu is Nigeria’s President-Elect

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  • Polls 8,794,726 to beat Atiku, his closest rival
  • LP’s Obi scores 6,101,533, Kwankwaso, 1,496,687
  • International observers, IPAC, others express satisfaction with election process
  • Emulate Jonathan by accepting defeat, APC urges Atiku, Obi

BY TIMOTHY AGBOR AND BRIGHT JACOB 

Uba Group

The candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has been declared the winner of the keenly contested 2023 presidential election.

Tinubu polled 8,794,726 votes to beat his closest rival, the Peoples Democratic Party’s Atiku Abubakar, who scored 6,984,520, a difference of 1,810,206.

The candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, polled a total of 6,101,533, while the New Nigerian Peoples Party’s Rabiu Kwankwaso scored 1,496,687. Total valid votes, according to the Independent National Electoral Commission, were 24,025,940.

“That Bola Ahmed Tinubu, having satisfied the requirements of the law, has been declared the winner and returned elected,” INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, said, while announcing the winner of the election in the early hours of Wednesday.

A tally of results by The Point from all the 36 states of Nigeria and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, showed that Tinubu was already closing in on victory as at Tuesday evening.

International observers and the Inter-Party Advisory Committee had commended the conduct of the elections, saying they were not unmindful of pockets of challenges.

This was as a few opposition parties, including the PDP and LP, rejected the results, alleging that it was a product of a flawed process, and called on the INEC chairman to resign.

“We monitored with dismay the travesty to democracy exhibited at the collation centre of INEC. It is, to say the least, a rape on democracy,” said Julius Abure, the LP chairman, alleging widespread manipulation.

“We are therefore constrained to state that INEC compromised the integrity of the election even before collation began. We have therefore arrived at the conclusion that the election has been irretrievably compromised,” he added.

Emulate Jonathan by accepting defeat – APC tells Atiku, Obi

However, the All Progressives Congress Campaign Council, on Tuesday, called on the presidential candidates of Labour Party, Peter Obi and the People’s Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, to accept defeat by calling to congratulate the APC flag bearer, Bola Tinubu.

The charge was made by the PCC Special Adviser on Media and Strategic Communications, Dele Alake, at a world press conference held in Abuja to address the calls for INEC to cancel the election.

In the same vein, the PDP vice presidential candidate, Ifeanyi Okowa, asked Yakubu in a similar conference to cancel the results of Saturday’s elections.

Okowa claimed that there was no transparency in the recently concluded elections because the results were not transmitted to polling units.

But the APC PCC disclosed that those calling for such illegality were not true adherents of democracy.

While urging the supporters of Atiku and Obi to avoid heating the polity, Alake asked the two candidates to borrow a leaf from the exemplary leadership of former President Goodluck Jonathan in the spirit of sportsmanship.

He said, “We call on Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi, to emulate former President Goodluck Jonathan by conceding defeat. This election has already been won by our candidate, according to the results declared at the collation centres in the state. In 2015, President Jonathan did not wait for INEC to finish collation before he called President Muhammadu Buhari and congratulated him in the true spirit of democracy and sportsmanship.

“CBN"

“We urge Atiku Abubakar and Obi to follow the same path of honour, instead of attempting to heat the polity via the reckless statements by surrogates. Let Atiku and Obi call Tinubu now.”

Alake, an ex-Lagos Information Commissioner, took a swipe at former President Olusegun Obasanjo for literally calling for the cancellation of last Saturday’s Presidential and National Assembly elections.

According to him, Obasanjo’s demand was anchored on unsubstantiated claims, rumours and allegations of fraud by the opposition parties after observing that they had lost the election.

While saying he was disappointed at the elder statesman’s statement, the PCC Special Adviser on Media noted that even Obasanjo himself once admitted in an interview that there was no ‘perfect’ electoral system anywhere in the world.

“The APC-PCC wants to say emphatically that former President Obasanjo has no moral right to meddle in this election let alone calling for its cancellation because he is an interested party having publicly, on January 1 this year, endorsed the candidate of Labour Party, Mr. Peter Obi.

“Today, they continued their conspiracy to truncate our 24-year democratic journey by raising unfounded allegations against INEC, casting aspersions on the whole electoral process, forgetting the process had handed them unexpected victories in some states.

“We have always suspected that the Labour Party and PDP are the same, only divided by individual inordinate ambition. We want to remind them that election is a process like pregnancy. Like a pregnancy that has reached full term, it cannot be aborted. We are not in 1993 when June 12 was aborted by similar forces. It is too late to do so,” he said.

The Chief Spokesman for the APC PCC, Festus Keyamo, also scolded critics calling for the resignation of the INEC chairman.

Keyamo stated that it was “legally wrong” for any candidate or political party to call for a change in the electoral process when the official results had not even been declared.

Seek legal redress, INEC advises aggrieved parties

Also, the Independent National Electoral Commission has advised aggrieved political parties to seek legal redress if not satisfied with the electoral process, adding that calls for the resignation of its chairman by the parties are out of place.

The Point recalls that the national collation agents for the PDP, Dino Melaye and Emeka Ihedioha, on Monday, walked out of the International Conference Centre in Abuja over alleged rigging.

Agents of some other parties, including those of the Social Democratic Party, Labour Party and Action Democratic Party had pointed out the same views.

They had accused INEC of violating the Electoral Act by going ahead with the result collation and announcement despite not uploading the results on the INEC Result Viewing portal.