Bola Tinubu is Nigeria’s president-elect.
Tinubu, who ran on the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), was declared the winner in the final results released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of Nigeria.
His main rival, Atiku Abubakar, polled 29%, and the youths’ favourite Labour Party’s Peter Obi, managed 25%.
Both Abubakar’s and Obi’s parties, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the Liberation Party (LP), had earlier called for a rerun of the election, citing massive irregularities.
It is expected that Abubakar and Obi will challenge the results in court.
If he assumes the presidency, the two-time Lagos state governor will succeed President Muhammadu Buhari, a former army general he brags of helping put into power.
Tinubu, known as “Jagaban” by supporters, will now be looking at unifying a country that is retreating into regional lines and religious blocs, as the election results show.
Tinubu, 70, also nicknamed a political “godfather,” is famed for his deftness and clout.
Electoral fraud claims
Both Abubakar and Obi have accused the APC of electoral fraud, with supporters of Obi asking the Labour Party candidate to challenge the results in court.
But APC and INEC officials have dismissed these claims.
In his acceptance speech, Tinubu called for reconciliation.
“I take this opportunity to appeal to my fellow contestants to let us team up together. It is the only nation we have. It is one country, and we must build it together,” he said in a televised speech.
Tinubu stated that while his opponents had the right to challenge the results in court, the gaps in the election “were relatively few in number and were immaterial to affect the outcome of this election.”
The results show that voter turnout was 27%, one of the lowest since the end of military rule in 1999.
Tinubu’s 8.8 million votes indicate he was the choice of less than 10% of the 93 million Nigerians who registered to vote.
‘I Shall Be A Fair Leader To All Nigerians’ – Tinubu
The president-elect, Bola Tinubu in his acceptance speech shortly after being pronounced winner by the INEC, praising Nigerians for giving him the mandate and promising to be fair to all irrespective of political affiliations. pic.twitter.com/UlKrv6riBO
— ARISE NEWS (@ARISEtv) March 1, 2023
Aware of the youth who overwhelmingly voted for Obi, Tinubu said he would look into their affairs, particularly with regard to educational matters.
“The Youths of Nigeria, I heard you loud and clear. We are on this journey together. I will not let you down. There will be no more university strikes; your universities will be autonomous; and there will be student loans. I’ll be your servant, not your leader,” he said.
Who is Tinubu?
Often referred to as “Jagaban”, Tinubu has spent years building his Lagos powerbase into a nationwide network of contacts, from Lagos market cooperatives and transport unions to political operatives.
However, Saturday’s poll cast him in rather unfamiliar waters, as Labour Party candidate Peter Obi narrowly beat him in Lagos State.
Born in Nigeria’s Yoruba-speaking southwest, Tinubu, who is a Muslim, trained as an accountant in the United States and worked there before returning to Nigeria.
He would morph into a political activist before becoming a senator and later governor of Lagos State from 1999 to 2007.
As an activist, Tinubu, along with others, was hounded into exile by military dictator Sani Abacha for campaigning for a return to democratic rule in 1999.
Tinubu’s allies describe him as an astute political strategist who excels at devising winning political moves.
He co-founded and provided funding for the Alliance for Democracy, which eventually changed its name to the Action Congress of Nigeria, according to his associates. He also assisted in the formation of the ruling All Progressives Congress.
Propelled Buhari to victory
He was instrumental in uniting APC factions, helping Buhari win in 2015 and put an end to the rival People’s Democratic Party’s (16-year) rule.
Both Buhari’s election triumph, which was the first victory for the opposition in Nigeria, and his reelection in 2019 were partially credited to Tinubu’s political clout.
As a testament to his tenacity, Tinubu maintained a firm hold on the governorship of Lagos from 1999 to 2007, keeping the position ever since and participating in the selection of his successors.
Some potential candidates who did not get the top jobs were irritated by his power in southwest Nigeria and accused him of being authoritarian.
Charges of corruption
Both Tinubu’s business practices and his political influence have generated controversy.
One of the wealthiest politicians in Nigeria, he was accused of corruption, money laundering, and maintaining more than a dozen overseas bank accounts after he left government. He was not charged and has not refuted these claims.
He was described as “wobbly, wonky, and narcotic-devastated” by PDP opponents on the campaign trail in reference to his health issues and a 1993 US court document that detailed a “drug-related confiscation of property” from his US bank account.
Unclear source of wealth
Tinubu has investments in a variety of businesses, from media and aviation to tax consulting, hotels, and real estate holdings.
Bola Tinubu first wife
Bola Tinubu has been married to Oluremi Tinubu, an RCCG minister and senator, since 1987. Oluremi has in the past claimed that she was drawn to Tinubu because of the kindness she saw in his eyes.
Oluremi, a former first lady of Lagos State, was awarded a degree in education by the University of Ife.
Oluremi holds a degree in zoology and botany.
She was among the four women appointed to serve in the Senate in 2015.
Oluremi enrolled in Bible school at the Redeemed Christian Bible College in 2010. She received her pastorate in 2018.
Rumours abound that she’s not Tinubu’s first wife.
Unconfirmed reports say Bola Tinubu was married to his first wife, the mother of his first two children, who is said to have passed away in 2018.
Tinubu has four children—two sons and two daughters. However, unfortunately, one of the sons, Jide Tinubu, is now deceased. This has left him with two daughters and a son.
Seyi Tinubu is the only surviving son who is inclined towards the tech sector.
Tinubu net worth
Tinubu is certainly one of the wealthiest Nigerians, with a fortune running into billions.
There are conservative estimates that put his net worth at $10 billion.
READ ALSO: Peter Obi: Net worth, Wife and Children
He boasts a vast and diversified investment portfolio, which critics claim is the result of his dalliance with the government.
Do you have a story you would like us to publish? Please reach us at [email protected]