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INEC seals Tinubu's election victory with certificate of return

Tinubu, a former governor, is set to be inaugurated in May as Nigeria's 16th president.

INEC chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, presents certificate of return to president-elect, Bola Tinitu [Twitter/@BashirAhmaad]

INEC chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, presented him with the certificate during a ceremony that started at 3 pm at the National Collation Centre in Abuja on Wednesday, March 1, 2023.

Yakubu had pronounced Tinubu the winner of the February 25 presidential election just hours earlier at the same venue.

The vice-president-elect, Kashim Shettima, also received his certificate of return at the ceremony.

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Tinubu, a former Lagos State governor, secured 8,794,726 votes to defeat Atiku Abubakar of the People's Democratic Party (PDP) who finished second with 6,984,520 votes and Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP) who finished third with 6,101,533 votes.

The LP and PDP have strongly condemned INEC's handling of the election and rejected the collation process for not being transparent enough. They accused the APC of rigging the polls, called for the cancellation of the election and demanded the resignation of Yakubu.

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The election is the most closely contested since Nigeria returned to democratic rule in 1999. Tinubu lost his home state of Lagos but recovered with wins in key areas including Rivers, Zamfara, Borno, Jigawa, Kogi and Kwara. He also won in Benue, Ekiti, Niger, Ogun, Ondo and Oyo.

Atiku won in his native Adamawa, as well as in Akwa Ibom, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Gombe, Kaduna, Katsina, Kebbi, Osun, Sokoto, Taraba and Yobe.

Obi swept through his southeast region — Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo—and also won in Cross River, Delta, Edo, Lagos, Nasarawa, Plateau and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

Rabiu Kwankwaso of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) polled nearly a million votes in Kano to win the state and finish with a total of 1,496,687 votes. He also joined calls for the election to be cancelled a day after the LP and PDP walked out of the National Collation Centre.

The LP and PDP are expected to escalate their grievances with the process and challenge the legitimacy of Tinubu's victory in court. But as it stands, the 70-year-old will take over from Muhammadu Buhari as Nigeria's new president on May 29, 2023.

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