March 1 (UPI) — Nigerian election officials declared Bola Ahmed Tinubu, 70, the winner of Saturday’s presidential election, keeping the country’s ruling All Progressive Congress Party in power.
The National Election Commission made the announcement on the state-run National Television Authority on Wednesday. The commission’s chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, said Tinubu received 8.8 million votes.
Atiku Abubakar, the People’s Democratic Party candidate and a former vice president, finished second with 7 million votes, while Peter Obi, of the Labor Party, won 6 million votes.
“This is a shining moment in the life of any man and an affirmation of our democratic existence,” Tinubu said in his acceptance speech. “I represent a promise and with your support, I know that promise will be fulfilled.”
He also called on the other candidates to “team up together” for the benefit of the country. Opposition candidates were already calling for a do-over election.
Some in Nigeria’s largest city of Lagos complained about voter suppression and voter intimidation tactics.
The European Union said it found the lack of transparency in the election troubling.
“The election fell well short of Nigerian citizens’ reasonable expectations,” said a joint observer mission of the International Republican Institute and National Democratic Institute.
The election marked the first time three candidates had a legitimate shot at Nigeria’s presidency in one election since 1999, when Muhammadu Buhari won the vote.
Buhari congratulated Tinbu on his victory in a tweet on Wednesday.
“Elected by the people, he is the best person for the job,” Buhari wrote. “I shall now work with him and his team to ensure an orderly handover of power.”