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Bola Tinubu Leads Nigeria’s Polls

Bola Tinubu, the Nigerian ruling party's candidate speaks to supporters during his final campaign rally, Lagos, February 21, 2023.
Bola Tinubu, the Nigerian ruling party's candidate speaks to supporters during his final campaign rally, Lagos, February 21, 2023.

Electoral officials tracking the progress of Nigeria’s recent vote report that the ruling party's Bola Tinubu leads the presidential race as opposition parties demand a new vote.

Official results from 22 of Nigeria’s 36 states, including the capital of Abuja, have been counted, AFP reported, with Tinubu winning nine states with 5.7 million votes, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate Atiku Abubakar garnering seven states and 4.4 million votes and the Labour Party's Peter Obi at five states and the capital with 2.9 million votes.

A candidate with the popular vote must win at least 25% of the votes in two-thirds of the Nigeria’s states and Abuja.

Despite being positioned in third place, INEC on Monday released results that showed Obi won the key state of Lagos, a bastion of Tinubu’s support, which also has the largest number of registered voters.

Saturday’s election saw some delays and technical issues followed by a slow pace of uploading state-by-state results, fueling allegations by opposition parties that INEC was manipulating the results in favor of the ruling party.

Dino Melaye, a PDP representative, reported walking out of a counting center in the capital Abuja alongside other party agents.

“We are not here to rubber stamp the electoral fraud that has been prepared by INEC and APC,” said Melaye. "We are saying that INEC is compromised.”

"The election is irretrievably compromised," Labour Party chairman Julius Abure told reporters on Monday. "We demand that this sham of an election should be immediately cancelled."

The European Union’s observer mission said INEC “lacked efficient planning and transparency during critical stages” and reduced public trust with delays in voting and results.

The ruling All Progressives Congress party candidate expressed comfort in the current tally that favors his prospects of being the next president, despite his reported loss in Lagos.

“You win some, you lose some,” Tinubu said.

Femi Fani-Kayode, a member of Tinubu’s presidential campaign council, called on opposition parties to refrain from violence as INEC releases more results.

“If they don’t, a situation may well arise that none of us want, whereby people actually act on this incitement and begin to kill other people,” said Kayode. “And if that happens, I assure you it will be very difficult to restrain those on our own side not to retaliate.”

Information for this report was sourced from The Associated Press and Agence France-Presse.