Speed Reads

Nigeria Votes

Nigerian ruling party candidate Bola Tinubu declared winner of tight presidential election

Nigeria's Independent National Electoral Commission announced early Wednesday that Bola Tinubu, the candidate for the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) party, had won the country's presidential election over the weekend. Tinubu, 70, won about 37 percent of the vote, the electoral commission said, while Atiku Abubakar of the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) drew 29 percent and Peter Obi of the Labour Party took 25 percent. 

The election was held Saturday, but problems with the new electronic voting machines caused delays that prevented some Nigerians from voting until Sunday. The slow release of the results fueled allegations of vote tampering, and even before the official results were announced at 4 a.m. Wednesday, Abubakar's and Obi's parties were calling for a do-over, BBC News reports.

Independent observers said the election was peaceful and did not report any irregularities that would have changed the outcome. The opposition parties have three weeks to challenge the results. Nigeria is Africa's most populous country, largest economy, and top oil exporter. 

Tinubu is the former governor of Lagos state and campaigned on his record rebuilding the country's biggest city, Lagos. He was always the favorite to replace outgoing President Muhammadu Buhari, BBC News reports, and he ran on the slogan "It's my turn," a nod to his history fighting the country's former military regime and helping found Nigeria's democracy in 1999. Obi, a relative political newcomer, won the megacity of Lagos, an upset fueled by young urban voters looking for change from the country's two-party system.