INEC declares Tinubu winner of presidential election; Tinubu best man for the job, opposition should go to court – Buhari | 5 Things That Should Matter Today

  • INEC declares Tinubu winner of presidential election
  • Tinubu best man for the job, opposition should go to court – Buhari
  • Probe alleged infractions in results collation, West African leaders tell INEC
  • Police debunks claims of arrests over alleged BVAS compromise
  • AAC withdraws from collation centre, accuses INEC of illegality

Across Nigeria’s 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, these are the five top Nigerian news stories you shouldn’t miss:

INEC declares Tinubu winner of presidential election

The Independent National Electoral Commission has declared the All Progressives Congress presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, as the president-elect.

Tinubu, a former Lagos State governor, was declared the president-elect after the 70-year-old polled 8,794,726 votes to win the 2023 presidential election.

The INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, announced Tinubu as the winner at the International Collation Centre in Abuja during the early hours of Wednesday.

Tinubu won the election ahead of other contenders  — the Peoples Democratic Party candidate, Atiku Abubakar; the Labour Party candidate, Peter Obi; and the New Nigeria Peoples Party candidate, Rabiu Kwankwaso.

The three leading presidential candidates won in 12 states each while Kwankwaso claimed only Kano State.

Tinubu edged Atiku, a former vice president and his closest challenger, with no fewer than 1.8 million votes.

Tinubu best man for the job, opposition should go to court – Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated Bola Tinubu, candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), on winning the presidential election.

According to the results announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Wednesday, Tinubu secured 8,794,726 votes to defeat Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who got 6,984,520 votes, and Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP) who polled 6,101,533 votes.

In a statement by Garba Shehu, presidential spokesperson, Buhari advised aggrieved candidates to take their concerns to court, adding that calls for protests will only escalate tension.

The president, who spoke on the concerns raised over the issues with the INEC result viewing portal, said efforts will go into improving the country’s electoral process.

He described Tinubu as the best person for the position, and also expressed his commitment to working with the president-elect towards smooth transition of power.

“I congratulate His Excellency Bola Ahmed Tinubu on his victory. Elected by the people, he is the best person for the job. I shall now work with him and his team to ensure an orderly handover of power,” Buhari said.

“The election was Africa’s largest democratic exercise. In a region that has undergone backsliding and military coups in recent years, this election demonstrates democracy’s continued relevance and capability to deliver for the people it serves.

“Within Nigeria, the results reveal democracy’s ripening in our country. Never has the electoral map shifted so drastically in one cycle. In the presidential elections, states in all regions across the nation changed colour. Some amongst you may have noticed my home state amongst them. The winning candidate did not carry his own home state either. That happens during a competitive election.

“Votes and those that cast them cannot be taken for granted. Each must be earned. Competition is good for our democracy. There is no doubt the people’s decision has been rendered in the results we look at today.

“That is not to say the exercise was without fault. For instance, there were technical problems with electronic transmission of the results. Of course, there will be areas that need work to bring further transparency and credibility to the voting procedure. However, none of the issues registered represent a challenge to the freeness and fairness of the elections

“I know some politicians and candidates may not agree with this view. That too is fine. If any candidate believes they can prove the fraud they claim is committed against them, then bring forward the evidence.

“If they cannot, then we must conclude that the election was indeed the people’s will – no matter how hard that may be for the losers to accept. If they feel the need to challenge, please take it to the courts, not to the streets.

“However, to do the latter means they are not doing it in the interest of the people, but rather to inflame, to put people in harm’s way and all for personal, selfish gains.

“After a degree of polarisation that necessarily accompanies any election, it is now time to come together and act responsibly.

“I call on all candidates to remember the peace pledge they signed just days before the election. Do not undermine the credibility of INEC. Let us now move forward as one. The people have spoken.”

Probe alleged infractions in results collation, West African leaders tell INEC

The West African Elders Forum (WAEF) election mission to Nigeria has asked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to investigate concerns raised by political parties regarding the general election.

On Saturday, Nigerians voted in the presidential and national assembly elections.

The three leading opposition parties — Labour Party (LP), New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) — had called for the cancellation of the ongoing presidential election result collation.

They argued that INEC is collating results that were not electronically transmitted from the polling units across the country.

In a statement on Tuesday, jointly signed by Goodluck Jonathan, former president of Nigeria, and John Dramani Mahama, former president of Ghana, WAEF asked political parties and their supporters to remain calm and peaceful.

The mission asked Nigerians to be cautious with protests over the allegations in order not to ruin the stability and peace of the country.

“The mission notes that some political parties and concerned citizens have raised procedural questions and allegations of infractions of the electoral law in the process of collation of results,” the statement reads.

“We call on all aggrieved parties to document and present their claims to INEC, in accordance with the Electoral Act 2022.

“The mission notes the imperative of retaining the confidence of Nigerians in the ongoing electoral process and, therefore, urges the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to thoroughly investigate those concerns and comply with the electoral law and the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, in the process of collating the election results.

“We reiterate that Nigeria is a major stakeholder in the sustainability of democracy in West Africa and the responsibility of maintaining the nation’s thriving democracy and the general peace of our sub-region rest on all our shoulders, especially on the integrity of INEC and other election management bodies in West Africa, during elections.

“We therefore urge INEC to live up to its responsibility of delivering free, fair and credible elections, in accordance with the nation’s laws.

“WAEF urges political parties, candidates and their supporters to remain calm and peaceful while awaiting the final outcome of the electoral process.”

Police debunks claims of arrests over alleged BVAS compromise

On the heels of the just concluded federal elections, the Nigeria Police Force has debunked reports on the arrest of some individuals in Maitama, Abuja, with electoral materials and some Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) machines by its operatives.

The Force Public Relations Officer, CSP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, in a statement on Wednesday, confirmed that operatives of the Force Intelligence Bureau (FIB) had acted on a tip from residents of an area in Maitama who reported suspicious activities.

Adejobi noted that the team visited the location, interviewed the occupants, and conducted a search on the house, adding that in the course of the search, some electoral materials and BVAS machines were discovered in their possession.

“However, the Independent National Electoral Commission, when contacted, confirmed that the occupants of the house are staff of Emperor Technology, outsourcing engineering services to the INEC, and they were immediately released to go about their lawful business,” the statement read.

The Force urged well-meaning members of the public to discountenance the “false and misconstrued” narrative propagated by what it described as some sections of the media about the arrest of these individuals and their link with BVAS manipulation.

According to Adejobi, reporters and media houses should endeavour to do due diligence and ascertain the veracity of the information on the public space before spreading such to avoid being victims of the “breaking news syndrome”.

The statement added, “Furthermore, the Nigeria Police urges all and sundry to avoid the creation and spread of misinformation and disinformation which is capable of causing disaffection between the populace and state actors more so as we are at a critical and sensitive moment in our democracy.”

AAC withdraws from collation centre, accuses INEC of illegality

The African Action Congress (AAC) has withdrawn its agent from the national collation centre in Abuja over alleged non-transparency by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The development comes amid the calls by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Labour Party (LP), and New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) for the cancellation of the general election.

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo had also said the INEC chairperson should declare “void and inadmissible” election results where “BVAS and servers have been manipulated or rendered inactive”.

In a statement on Tuesday by Femi Adeyeye, the national publicity secretary of the party, AAC also accused INEC of failure to upload result sheets at the (polling) unit levels, adding that the alleged action of the electoral commission was a breach of the law.

“Section 60 (5) of the 2022 electoral act empowers INEC to prescribe guidelines for the transmission of election results. Pursuant to that subsection, INEC clearly stipulated in clause 38 of its regulations and guidelines that election results must be transmitted electronically via the BVAS after the announcement at the polling units,” the statement reads

“Section 64 (4a&b) of the electoral act, 2022 lends further credence to the transmission to the iRev before they are announced to Nigerians. Why is the rule being bent at this time?

“Our national secretary who is also our national election collation agent has consistently raised this breach of the electoral act and INEC guidelines at the national collation centre but the INEC chairman keeps dodging addressing these concerns.

“This is why we have decided to withdraw our collation agent from the charade and illegality going on at the national collation centre since our probing questions to the commission have remained unanswered till this minute.

“We call on INEC to follow the law and its own guidelines and also call for the cancellation of results not uploaded, collated and read from the server, in accordance with the electoral act and guidelines.

“Elections should be reconducted in areas ridden with vote buying, intimidation, violence, technical issues with BVAS and other malpractices stated by parties and independent monitoring bodies.”

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