2023 Election: Why Tinubu’s Victory Surprised Foreign Observer – FG

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The Federal Government says many foreign commentators were taken aback by the results of the 2023 presidential election in the country.

2023 Election: Why Tinubu's Victory Surprised Foreign Observer - FG
Lai Mohammed

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, disclosed this while speaking on Tuesday with international media organizations and think tanks in London.

The Minister is currently in London to defend the legitimacy of the 2023 presidential election and correct certain narratives regarding the elections.

He said that international observers had believed that Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), would win the polls due to the publicity created by his supporters on social media. However, the hyped activities of the Labour Party supporters on social media did not represent the political situation in Nigeria.

“In the course of my interactions, particularly with the Economist, I referred them to an earlier article they wrote, in which they rated the Labour Party presidential candidate as the front-runner in the polls,” Lai Mohammed said.

“I explained to them that there was no way a presidential candidate who has no political spread and a grassroots base could win an election in Nigeria. I also explained to them that many of them were ignorant of the constitutional requirements for a presidential candidate to win an election in Nigeria.”

“For instance, not only that the candidate must have the plurality of votes, but he must also have one-quarter of the total vote cast in at least 25 states of the federation.”

Lai further said both the LP and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidates couldn’t have won the election because they didn’t meet the requirement. “When you look at the results, only the candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress and the president-elect, Bola Tinubu, met these requirements,” Lai added.

“The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Atiku Abubakar, came short of these because he came second and had 25 percent in 21 states. Obi came far behind with 25 percent in 15 states.”

“This means that Obi, who was wrongly adjudged as a front-runner in the election, was virtually unknown and unpopular in 22 states. For any party to ignore the northeast and the northwest zones of Nigeria during a presidential election, it will be impossible for it to win.”

“The election had thrown up a lot of surprises and it is precisely those surprises that made it credible and transparent,” he added.

It is worth noting that the 2023 presidential election was highly anticipated, with a record number of candidates, including the incumbent president, participating.

The election saw the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Bola Tinubu, emerge as the winner, defeating his closest rival, Atiku Abubakar of the PDP. The election has been widely hailed as peaceful and credible by both local and international observers.

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