Bola Tinubu has won Nigeria’s presidential election with almost 37 per cent of the vote, according to official results.
His main rivals, Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi, polled 29 per cent and 25 per cent respectively.
The election was marred by controversy, with the opposition parties dismissing it as a sham and demanding a rerun.
Tinubu is a veteran politician and one of Nigeria’s wealthiest politicians. He campaigned on his record of rebuilding Lagos, the country’s largest city, when he was governor.
Despite losing the city to relative newcomer Peter Obi, Tinubu won most other states in his home region of the south-west, where he is known as a “political godfather” who helps put others into office.
In his acceptance speech, Tinubu called for reconciliation with his opponents.
“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 to the nation.
He also acknowledged that his opponents had the right to challenge the results in court.
President Muhammadu Buhari is stepping down after two terms in office, marked by economic stagnation and growing insecurity around the country.
Tinubu now faces the task of solving these problems, among others, in Africa’s most populous nation and biggest oil exporter.
Tinubu’s victory came unexpected according to politics analysts, as he was not the favourite to win the party primary, and his decision to go with another Muslim as a running mate was thought to be an obstacle.
Many have said that Tinubu’s win highlights the country’s growing regional and religious divides.
Obi won in Christian-dominated states and former strongholds of the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the south, while the PDP support shrank back into its northern heartlands.