What to know about Nigeria’s President-Elect, Bola Tinubu

THE anxiety over who succeeds President Muhammadu Buhari may have ended as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), on Wednesday, March 1, declared the candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, winner of the Presidential Election conducted on February 25. 

Tinubu polled 8,794,726 votes to defeat a dozen other candidates, including three major ones, namely the Peoples Democratic Party’s Atiku Abubakar, Labour Party’s Peter Obi and New Nigeria Peoples Party’s Rabiu Kwankwaso, according to the election results announced by INEC chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, a professor, at 4:00 am on March 1.

Atiku came second with 6,984,520 votes, Obi followed closely with 6,101,533 votes, and Kwankwaso got 1,496,687.

Tinubu and Atiku topped in 12 states, Obi won 11 states plus the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), and Kwankwaso led in one state.

States won by the major contenders are: 

Tinubu: Rivers, Borno, Jigawa, Zamfara, Benue, Kogi, Kwara, Niger, Osun, Ekiti, Ondo, Oyo and Ogun states.

Atiku: Katsina, Kebbi, Sokoto, Kaduna, Gombe, Yobe, Bauchi, Adamawa and Taraba states. He also won in Osun, Akwa Ibom and Bayelsa states.

Obi: Edo, Cross River, Delta, Lagos, FCT, Plateau, Imo, Ebonyi, Nasarawa, Anambra, Abia and Enugu states.

Kwankwaso: Kano State.

The ICIR reports that some of the parties who lost the election may reject the result and head to court.

Here are major things to know about the President-Elect 

Many controversies have surrounded Tinubu’s birth, age, education and wealth.

He is named Adekunle Bola Ahmed Tinubu and claims to have been born in Lagos State on March 29, 1952, meaning he’s 70 years.

He attended St. John’s Primary School, Aroloya, Lagos and Children’s Home School in Ibadan. Tinubu graduated from Chicago State University, where he read Accounting, but there have been questions about the secondary school he attended. 

Tinubu worked with Mobil Nigeria in the 1980s as an accountant and revealed how he became rich years later.

Political adventure

Tinubu ventured into politics and was elected Senator on the Social Democratic Party’s platform to represent Lagos West in 1992.

The former Head of State, Sani Abacha, dissolved the country’s Third Republic in which Tinubu was a federal lawmaker. 

The President-Elect was forced into exile following his strong opposition to the military government, which annulled the 1993 presidential election won by the late Moshood Abiola.

In 1998, Tinubu returned to Nigeria after Abacha’s death and won the Lagos State governorship election primaries through the Alliance for Democracy (AD).

He eventually won the governorship poll. He also got re-elected for a second and final term as Lagos State governor in 2003.

Tinubu, fondly called Jagaban (a traditional title he got in Borgu, Niger State), has since become a kingmaker in Lagos State after leaving office as governor. He has been very influential in the emergence of leaders at all levels in the state.

The Lion of Bourdillon helped oust a sitting President 

The ICIR reports that Tinubu played a huge role in the ouster of former President Goodluck Jonathan, who sought re-election in 2015.

He was also very instrumental in the election of the incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015 and his re-election in 2019.

He is regarded as the National Leader of the ruling APC.

Tinubu merged his Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) with Buhari’s Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), splinter groups from the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2013 to form the APC.

US drug deal indictment, docked, freed by CCT 

In September 2011, the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) docked him for operating foreign accounts when he was a governor.

However, the court eventually freed him. 

There have been reports, including this and this, of how the United States, through court injunction, took over $460,000 suspected to be proceeds of heroin business in Tinubu’s account.

The opposition parties, including the PDP and LP, used the drug indictment to warn Nigerians of the dire consequences the habit could impose on the nation if the elected President truly sympathises with illicit drug barons. 

A great philanthropist and investor in Nigeria

Tinubu has touched many lives, including those he built from scratch to become successful leaders. His political entrepreneurship provokes envy, perhaps one of the reasons he won votes across the country in the keenly contested presidential election.

He runs a business empire, including Oriental Hotel, First Nation Airline, The Nation Newspaper, and TV Continental.

‘Emilokan’ declaration changed APC primary’s calculations

Before the June 6 2022 APC presidential primary in Abuja, many believed it was all over for the President-Elect because of high politicking in the APC.

Tinubu’s supposed recruit, Yemi Osinbajo, a professor and incumbent Vice President, had picked the N100 million APC nomination and expression of interest form – in apparent readiness to confront his former principal

Despite Osinbajo’s declaration for the presidency against Tinubu, the APC reportedly endorsed the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, as the presidential flag-bearer.

That was not enough to stop the former Lagos State governor. 

While seeking delegates’ votes in Abeokuta, Ogun State, Tinubu said it was his turn to be Nigeria’s president. 

He eventually won the primary, defeating several aspirants, including Osinbajo, Lawan, Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello, and former Minister of Transportation Rotimi Amaechi. 

Tinubu’s health and old age are a worry to many

Many Nigerians are worried about Tinubu’s age following the crisis posed by Buhari’s ill health during his first term in office. The ICIR reported how Buhari beat late former President Umar Yar’Adua’s record in foreign medical trips. Buhari also confessed that old age negatively affected his performance.

The ICIR has reported how Tinubu’s hands and legs shake, including diseases associated with shaking hands and legs, and what if Tinubu has Parkinson’s disease?

But Tinubu has asked Nigerians if he actually looks sickly.

This organization also reported how the president-elect makes repeated blunders while addressing the public.

About Tinubu’s family

The President-Elect is married to Remi Tinubu, a three-time Senator.

The family is blessed with children.

Tinubu will be sworn in on May 29 to replace Buhari, who will end his two terms of four years apiece.

In his victory speech on Wednesday, March 1, the President-Elect promised to be fair to all.

Tinubu is expected to pacify and unify a nation further divided along religious and ethnic lines by the election by offering good governance. Nigeria has been plagued with three problems, namely corruption, insecurity and poor economy which Buhari vowed to address when seeking office.

Marcus bears the light, and he beams it everywhere. He's a good governance and decent society advocate. He's the ICIR Reporter of the Year 2022. Contact him via email @ [email protected].

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