The Nigerian candidate that finished third in the presidential election, Peter Obi, has challenged first-place Bola Tinubu, claiming he won the election despite officials saying otherwise.
The 61-year-old Obi, who is considered a political outsider, said on Thursday that he would prove that he won the vote, despite the official results confirming that Tinubu had won the presidential race.
“We will explore all legal and peaceful options to reclaim our mandate. We won the election and we will prove it to Nigerians,” Obi told reporters at a news briefing on Thursday in the capital, Abuja.
The Labor party candidate, who for many Nigerians represented hope for change, said the election “will go down as one of the most controversial elections ever conducted in Nigeria.”
“The good and hardworking people of Nigeria have again been robbed by our supposed leaders whom they trusted.”
Obi had framed himself as the anti-establishment candidate, hoping to harness the votes of the youth.
In the meantime, Tinubu -- the 70-year-old former governor of Lagos, senior politician, kingmaker and multimillionaire businessman -- was confirmed as the winner of the election and set to succeed the octogenarian President Muhammadu Buhari, who will step down in May after two terms.
Tinubu, who hails from Buhari's ruling All Progressives Congress political party, on Wednesday called on his rivals and their supporters to “join hands” with him, urging them to “come in so that we may begin the task of rebuilding our national home together.”
Meanwhile, out of some 25 million people in Nigeria who cast their votes on Saturday only three out of 18 candidates stood a realistic chance of winning the presidency and the collated results four days later on Wednesday by the country's Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from all ballots gathered at voting centers nationwide showed Tinubu as the winner.
He bagged 8.8 million votes, hitting the required number of votes across two-thirds of Nigeria’s 36 states.
The former vice-president Atiku Abubakar of the opposition People’s Democratic Party, gained second place with 6.9 million votes.
Obi came in third place with 6.1 million votes, according to results released by the INEC.
The INEC has dismissed the allegations of fraud and vote-rigging, confirming the election process was free and fair; however, it stated that candidates who want to file complaints have 21 days to bring their case to the courts.
Buhari came to power in 2015 at a time when abductions and severe bombings were being reported in Nigeria on an almost daily basis, most often attributed to Boko Haram, the extremist militant group that wreaked havoc in northeastern parts of Nigeria.
Tinubu, who has long been heralded as the “father of modern Lagos”, the country's main port and business hub, is expected to focus on reviving the economy.