The All Progressives Congress flag bearer, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, was in the early hours of Wednesday March 1, declared the winner of the February 25 presidential election by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
According to the commission, Tinubu polls 8,794,729 and got the required 25 per cent in 30 states to defeat his major opponents, Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party, who came second with 6,984,520 votes and Peter Obi of the Labour Party who got 6,101,533 votes.
Before the 2023 presidential election, some people predicted the elections will not hold, while many more were disturbed on the possible display of violence and outright breakdown of law and order after announcement of results.
But in the end, there would only be one winner and going by history, the outcome would be disputed, no matter who won.
As expected, Obi and Atiku have both rejected the outcome and are already challenging it in court. Interesting times ahead. Some would say it is a waste of time, but that was exactly what people told Obi in 2003 when he believed he was cheated in the Anambra governorship election. He gathered the evidence and went to the tribunal to prove that the final results announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) were false. It took him a while, but he won.
Tinubu has never hidden his ambition to lead the country. Despite tongues wagging at him, the political hurdles on his way, even during primaries, the cloud of controversies surrounding his birth and education, his rumoured wealth believed to be steeped in corruption, his alleged stranglehold on Lagos politics and finance, public worries over his health and doubts about his fitness for the most demanding job in the land, the ex-Lagos Governor has instead used the bricks and stones thrown at him to build a ladder to his dream job.
Some analysts are of the opinion that the president-elect of Nigeria, surely has to thank the broken opposition for his victory. Perhaps, it would have been more difficult for him if he was facing PDP’s Atiku Abubakar only. Previously, the south-east, south-south and Christian north always came through for the PDP in presidential elections, but this time they had to share their votes and LP’s Peter Obi was the major beneficiary.
This year’s presidential poll was an eye opener. It was full of surprises. Permutations were rubbished predictions never came true in many respects. Some candidates were underrated to opponents’ peril. Results in many districts and constituencies did not align with expectations. There were right and wrong projections.
It is often said that power is never served a la carte, and Asiwaju did not get it on a golden platter. His victory underscores the audacity of hope and power of courage. He is a thoroughbred politician. His lieutenants confirmed that he was not only focused, but planned well and teamed up with the right people across the six geo-political zones to realise his life-long ambition for selfless and higher service to his fatherland.
That the kingmaker has become king is not the end of the matter, hopefully, the president-elect would assemble a solid team, an inclusive, goal-oriented, and accountable administration that will rejuvenate and manage the ailing economy well. Asiwaju’s wealth of experience and visionary leadership must be felt in every aspect of our national life. It is gratifying that he has waved the olive branch and promised a government of national unity. This makes him the real unifier.
The economy is on crutches. Excuses will not be permitted. The problem of Nigeria has become Tinubu’s problem. Graduate unemployment, insecurity and epileptic power supply are among Nigeria’s major challenges. It is noteworthy that the President-elect has acknowledged that if electricity is fully resolved, the nation’s problems would be half-solved and all would be well with the nation.
The greatest task in the months and years ahead, is the resolution of the national question through restructuring. Nigeria also expects reforms across the various sectors.
In four years time, the incoming administration will be assessed. Nigeria will not remain the same.
On the whole, Nigerians have made the decision that seem best to them. A democrat and statesman has been elected to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari on May 29. It is a turning point in national history; the beginning of a new dawn. Those who think otherwise are already in court.