AU, Ecowas ready to work with Nigeria president-elect Tinubu

Thursday March 09 2023
Nigeria’s President-elect Bola Tinubu

Nigeria’s President-elect Bola Tinubu (right) with INEC Chairman Yakubu Mahmood on March 1, 2023. PHOTO | KOLA SULAIMON | AFP


As controversy follows Nigeria’s February 25 presidential election, the African Union (AU), the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) and several countries have sent congratulatory messages to Ahmed Bola Tinubu after he was declared winner.

Tinubu campaigned on the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) party ticket.

The opposition Labour Party (LP) of Peter Obi and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) of Atiku Abubakar have vowed to challenge the results in court.

Read: Five books Nigeria’s new president should read

According to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Tinubu garnered 8.7 million votes, Abubakar had 6.9 million while Obi secured 6.1 million votes.

INEC said apart from getting the majority of the votes, Tinubu met the other constitutional requirement of clinching 25 per cent of votes in more than 24 states as he law demands.


Losers claiming victory

Abubakar and Obi are claiming victory in their bid to replace President Muhammadu Buhari who leaves office on May 29 after serving two terms.

AU Commission Chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat congratulated Tinubu for being declared the winner.

Mahamat also praised Nigerians “for demonstrating resilience in their commitment to democratic values by casting votes for the leaders of their choice”.

The AU called on Nigerians and their leaders to uphold peace and the rule of law. It said any post-election dispute or grievance should be pursued legally.

Mahamat also showered praises on former Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta “for his outstanding leadership as head of the AU Election Mission to Nigeria”.

Read: Nigeria’s PDP protests poll outcome

Ecowas congratulated the 70-year-old Tinubu too.

“On behalf of...Umaru Sissoco Embalo, the chairperson of the Ecowas Authority of Heads of State and Government and the entire Ecowas leadership, we wish to convey our heartfelt congratulations to...Bola Ahmed Tinubu on his election as president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” Ecowas said.

“General Embalo appeals to stakeholders to promote peace and use constitutional means to address any grievances they may have.”

Read: Nigeria’s Atiku Abubakar: Sixth time unlucky

Refrain from violence

The US and the UK also congratulated Tinubu.

“We call on parties, candidates, and supporters to refrain from violence or inflammatory rhetoric at this critical time,” Ned Price, spokesman for the US State Department, said.

“We understand that many Nigerians and some of the parties have expressed frustration about the manner in which the process was conducted and the shortcomings of technical elements that were used for the first time in a presidential election cycle.”

Congratulatory messages to Tinubu also came from Ukraine, South Africa, the Netherlands and other countries.