The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), on Wednesday, declared Bola Tinubu, candidate of Nigeria’s ruling All Progressives Congress, as the winner of Saturday’s presidential election.
Tinubu defeated 17 other candidates who took part in the election, having scored a total of 8,794,726 votes. He also scored over 25 per cent of the votes cast in 30 states, more than the 24 states constitutionally required.
His closest rival, Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party polled a total of 6,984,520 votes in the election and Peter Obi of the Labour Party, who came third had 6,101,533 votes.
Tinubu who received his certificate of return today has consistently played major roles in party politics since 1992 when he was elected senator for Lagos West District.
Though his first time running for president, whether in the party primaries or general elections, he was governor of Lagos for eight years. Prior to declaring his ambition to become president, he was regarded as a kingmaker who has since he left office installed his loyalists. He also helped President Muhammadu Buhari to win in 2015 and 2019.
He has many honorary academic awards, including: Doctor of Civil Law (DCL) (Honoris Causa) by the University of Njala, Freetown, Sierra Leone; Doctor of Science (D.Sc) by Kano State University of Science and Technology; Doctor of Science (D.SC) in Management Sciences by Ladoke Akintola University of Technology; Doctor of Political Science and Diplomacy by Adeleke University, Osun State; Doctor of Business Administration by University of Abuja, and Doctor of Business Administration by Usman Dan Fodio University, Sokoto.
He also has many chieftaincy titles, including Asiwaju of Lagos, Aare of Ile Oluji, Eze Obalu Dike Gawu na Oko, Jagaban of Borgu, Are-Ago of Egbaland and Wakilin Raya Emir of Gusau.
Meanwhile, the road to Aso Rock has not been smooth sailing; it is a difficult journey, such that Tinubu himself would readily attest that he did not get it through a tea party.
Known as the son of Alhaja Abibatu Mogaji, the Iyaloja of Lagos, Tinubu was an Auditor before joining politics in 1992, on the platform of the Social Democratic Party led by late Shehu Musa Yar’Adua.
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After Ibrahim Babangida, scrapped the transitional democratic institutions, including the National Assembly and threw MKO Abiola into jail after his election in 1993, Tinubu, an acclaimed Democrat joined the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) to campaign against military rule, forcing him into exile.
He would later contest for governor under the banner of the Alliance for Democracy and was elected the first governor of Lagos in the Fourth Republic in 1999. He was the only one among the six governors of the party, all of them in the South-west, to retain office in 2003 after Olusegun Obasanjo’s PDP seized control of the region during the president’s reelection that year.
After declaring his ambition to run for president, many politicians including those he raised betrayed him. One of them is Yemi Osinbajo, vice president who also tried to be APC flag bearer. This was why he made some controversial remarks a few days before the party primaries, saying “Emi lokan” (it is my turn) in Abeokuta, Ogun State.
Though some people took the statement as a public attack on the president, he still recorded a stunning landslide victory at the APC national convention in Abuja.
Today, he has become the third person from the South-west to be elected president in 30 years and in the entire history of the country.