On February 25th, Nigeria held its highly-anticipated 2023 Presidential Elections, which saw Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the All Progressive Congress Party (APC) declared the winner. However, controversy has erupted as many citizens are claiming the election was rigged and are calling for a revote.
Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos state, secured over 8 million votes to win the presidency, succeeding outgoing president Muhammadu Buhari. His victory was challenged by both the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Labour party, whose candidates, Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi respectively, lost in the election’s final stages. On Feb 18, a Presidential Rally was held by a diaspora group in DC to support PeterObi, candidate of the Labour party.
The accusations stem from what is being described as a lack of compliance with provisions set forth in the 2022 Electoral Act, introduced by the Buhari administration to ensure a fair and transparent voting process. Labour party Chairman Julius Abure went as far as to call for the resignation of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Chairman, alleging that the election results were manipulated and tampered with.
“We have a responsibility to the millions of Nigerians who put their faith in us and our presidential candidates to defend our country from the forces that seek to tear us apart,” Abure said.
The PDP and Labour Party have been collecting data from local voting stations and comparing them to the tallied votes uploaded to the INEC site, citing discrepancies as evidence of tampering. The parties are now asking for a revote and the removal of the INEC chairman, but the Nigerian Supreme Court has never overturned a presidential election before.
While Tinubu’s victory has been confirmed, the controversy surrounding the election has cast a shadow over his administration. The PDP and Labour Party have vowed to mount a legal challenge against the election of the new president, which could further divide the already polarized nation.
Nigeria has a long history of contested elections, and this latest episode highlights the need for a robust and transparent electoral system to ensure that the will of the people is accurately reflected. It is imperative that the concerns of all parties are addressed to restore trust in the democratic process and ensure a peaceful transition of power.