AFRICA/NIGERIA - Opposition wants to challenge election results: Wahlsiger Tinubu is trying to achieve reconciliation

Thursday, 2 March 2023 elections   bishops  

Abuja (Agenzia Fides) - The first act of Nigerian President-elect Bola Tinubu, yesterday March 1st, launched a reconciliation committee with the other presidential candidates who stood in the elections of February 25th (see Fides, 1/3/2023)
The 70-year-old Bola Ahmed Tinubu, candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), the party of outgoing President Muhammadu Buhari, was elected with 8,794,726 votes (35% of the votes cast) ahead of Atiku Abubakar, the candidate of the People's Democratic Party (PDP), who received 6,984,520 votes (28%). As for the third man in the campaign, political outsider Peter Obi of the Labor Party (LP), received 6,101,533 votes (24%). Turnout was 27% of over 90 million Nigerians called to vote.
The opposition parties have three weeks to challenge the election results in court, their representatives announced immediately after the announcement of the victory of Ahmed Tinubu, who will take office on May 29.
Tinubu, a former Lagos state governor, defeated nearly two dozen candidates running for the ruling party's presidential nomination, including the incumbent vice president, in a fierce internal battle within the APC.
The Muslim Tinubu has gained strong support, particularly in Nigeria's Muslim-majority northern region. Its vice president, Kashim Shettima, is also a Muslim, violating the unwritten rule that a "Muslim" president alternates with a "Christian" vice president. However, Tinubu is originally from southwestern Nigeria, which may ease concerns about succeeding two "Muslim" presidents in a row, as outgoing President Buhari is of northern origin. On the Nigerian political map, meanwhile, geographic and ethnic affiliations are more important than religious affiliations. The three main candidates in this year's presidential election represent the three main ethnic groups in Nigeria: Hausa-Fulani, Yoruba and Igbo.
The Nigerian bishops, in their message denouncing some serious shortcomings in the conduct of the elections
(see Fides, 1/3/2023), call on the population to refrain from violence, to respect the law and to continue to pray for the good of the country. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 2/3/2023)