On the historic day of Wednesday, March 1, 2023, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is all set to present the coveted Certificates of Return to the newly-elected President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, and his running mate, Kashim Shettima.
This momentous occasion follows the announcement made by the electoral body in the wee hours of Wednesday that the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate had triumphed in the closely-fought and fiercely-contested presidential election.
The election had been a tumultuous and grueling affair that had captivated the entire nation for several months. The candidates had crisscrossed the length and breadth of Nigeria, making impassioned speeches and presenting their manifestos to the people, seeking their votes and support. The campaign rallies had been raucous and vibrant affairs, with the candidates’ supporters cheering and waving their party flags and banners, adding to the festive atmosphere.
As the election day drew near, tensions mounted, and the country held its breath, waiting for the results with bated breath. And when the results were finally announced, the country erupted in jubilation, as the people welcomed their new leader with open arms.
Tinubu, the former governor of Lagos State, emerged victorious with a staggering total of 8,794,726 votes, defeating his closest challengers, Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Peter Obi of the Labour Party, and Rabiu Kwankwaso of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP).
INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, made the official announcement at the International Collation Centre in Abuja, declaring Tinubu as the winner and returned elected, having satisfied the requirements of the law. The announcement was met with wild celebrations across the country, as Tinubu’s supporters poured out into the streets, dancing and singing in joyous abandon.
It was a hard-fought victory, and Tinubu’s campaign team had worked tirelessly to ensure their candidate’s success. They had used every available means to reach out to the electorate, from traditional door-to-door canvassing to modern-day social media campaigns. They had highlighted Tinubu’s record of achievement as Lagos State governor and his vision for a prosperous and inclusive Nigeria.
The top three candidates won 12 states each, while Kwankwaso, who placed fourth, only won Kano State. It was a clear indication of Tinubu’s popularity and appeal across the length and breadth of Nigeria.
Shortly after declaring Tinubu as the president-elect, the INEC boss said the commission would issue the Certificate of Return to Tinubu and Shettima at the International Collation Centre in Abuja later in the day. The presentation ceremony promises to be a grand affair, with dignitaries, politicians, and supporters expected to be in attendance.
The presentation of the Certificate of Return is a significant milestone in Nigeria’s democratic journey, a symbol of the people’s power to choose their leaders and hold them accountable. It marks the beginning of a new era, one filled with hope and promise, as the nation prepares to embark on a new path of progress and development under the able leadership of President Tinubu.