Prime Minister Narendra Modi has congratulated Nigeria's Bola Ahmed Tinubu for winning the presidential elections, stressing that he looks forward to further strengthening India-Nigeria relations under his leadership.
In a tweet, PM Modi said, "I congratulate H.E. Mr. Bola Ahmed Tinubu for winning the Presidential elections. Look forward to further strengthening India-Nigeria bilateral relations under your leadership. @officialABAT."
I congratulate H.E. Mr. Bola Ahmed Tinubu for winning the Presidential elections. Look forward to further strengthening India-Nigeria bilateral relations under your leadership. @officialABAT— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) March 3, 2023
Bola Tinubu, a candidate for the governing party, was proclaimed the winner of the presidential election in Nigeria early on Wednesday, despite the two major opponents immediately calling for a rerun in the continent's most populous country. His two primary rivals, Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi, were poised to file a legal challenge after the declaration the next morning. Also placing second in the most recent election, Abubakar then filed an appeal before having his case dismissed.
Abubakar, the leading opponent, earned 29% of the vote with almost 7 million votes, while Tinubu received 37% of the vote, or about 8.8 million and was declared the winner. The Independent National Electoral Commission declared the results live on television, with third-place finisher Obi taking 25% with nearly 6.1 million votes. Celebrations had already begun late Tuesday inside the national secretariat of the governing party, where Tinubu's supporters had congregated in expectation of his triumph. The announcement didn't come until after 4 a.m.
The 70-year-old had previously served as the governor of Lagos State, which is home to the Lagos megacity of Nigeria. Nevertheless, his political opponent Obi, who attracted sizable support from younger people seeking change, defeated him in the state on Saturday. The political parties have three weeks to protest against the results, but an election will only be declared illegal if it can be proven that the national electoral body generally broke the law and took actions that might have affected the outcome.
Although legal challenges are regular, including those brought by the outgoing President Muhammadu Buhari, who tenaciously battled his previous electoral defeats for months, in vain, the Supreme Court of Nigeria has never annulled a presidential election.
Since Nigeria has the biggest economy on the African continent as well as being among the top producers of oil, the presidential elections received a lot of attention. Although some voters had to wait until the next day to cast their votes due to delays, observers stated that the election on Saturday was largely calm. Due to a currency redesign that caused a lack of banknotes, many Nigerians experienced trouble getting to their polling places.