Nigeria: Opposition parties challenge election results, call for annulment

Nigeria: Opposition parties challenge election results, call for annulment

While Bola Ahmed Tinubu was officially declared the winner of last Saturday’s presidential election in Nigeria, two major opposition parties say the results were rigged and have vowed to challenge the results in court.

Nigeria’s opposition renewed calls for the election result to be overturned on Thursday, March 2, a day after the country announced its new president-elect. “We won the election and we will prove it to Nigerians,” said Peter Obi, a third-place candidate from the Labor Party. The election would be remembered as one of the most controversial in Nigeria’s history, Obi said and added that this is also because it was marred by a great many irregularities. Hours later, second-place candidate Atiku Abubakar from the Peoples’ Democratic Party also rejected defeat because, he argued, the election was “grossly flawed in every (way) and as such must be challenged.” At least four other parties are joining them in challenging the results.

President-elect Bola Tinubu of the ruling party received 37% of the vote, while the main opposition candidate, Atiku Abubakar, got 29% of the vote, and Obi came third with 25% of the vote, according to official results.

The 70-year-old president-elect who faces a divided nation has urged his fellow Nigerians to overcome any partisan divide. “I (take) this opportunity … to appeal to my fellow contestants to let us team up together. It is the only nation we have,” Tinubu pleaded. During the ceremony in Abuja where he collected the formal document confirming his victory, he also called on Nigerians to “build (the country) together. We won together. To put broken pieces together, we must work for unity, happiness and harmony.”

But many younger Nigerians doubt Tinubu’s ability to improve economic opportunities for all, let alone reduce violence and corruption in a country that is one of the world’s leading suppliers of oil.


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