After a long and contentious election campaign, Bola Tinubu has been declared president-elect of Nigeria. What does his victory tell us about the challenges facing Africa’s most populous country and biggest economy?
“Why should Nigerians be voting for you?”Bola Tinubu, BBC News Africa
“Because I’m different. I’m Bola Ahmed Tinubu. ”
Bola Tinubu’s election slogan was “It’s my turn” because he’s a man whose political career stretches back a long way.
“Tinubu is probably… is arguably the most impactful politician in Nigeria’s history.”Jesutega Onokpasa, Arise News
After serving as Governor of Lagos from 1999 until 2007 Bola Tinubu remained a prominent figure in Nigerian politics.
He’s made allies across a divided country and helped to get several other governors elected over the years.
But Bola Tinubu is now 70 years old and it’s clear that his efforts have all been building up to this moment.
Opposition parties have called last month’s election a “sham” but there’s little sign that the result will be overturned.
So it looks like he will become Nigeria’s next president.
And with the country facing economic turmoil, widespread violence and systemic corruption there’s concern that his victory represents more of the same.
So what does Bola Tinubu’s victory tell us about Nigeria’s future?
“What brought us to where we are today It’s collating the effect of leadership failures over the years by the same people who are elected. By the same people who are in office today.”Peter Obi, BBC News Africa
This is Peter Obi. Bola Tinubu’s challenger in the recent election.
A few years ago he would have been an unlikely candidate.
But he was able to galvanise the youth vote when he emerged as a prominent voice during protests against corruption and police brutality a few years ago.
“It’s an existential election. The country is going through a very difficult time and requires an urgent and immediate turnaround.”Peter Obi, NBC News
In other African countries opposition candidates like Peter Obi have tried to build a popular movement that appeals to the continent’s millions of young voters.
All have promised to oust establishment parties and end corruption, but all have been defeated by opponents who have the backing of the security services, police and the country’s electoral system.
But it doesn’t mean they’re going away and president Bola Tinubu will need to be mindful of this powerful new political movement.
So what might he do to bring Nigeria – Africa’s largest democracy – back from the brink?
Once upon a time, following independence, Nigeria was a thriving nation that was set to become a superpower on the continent.
But that hope hasn’t been realised.
“Recent data from the National Bereau of Statistics of Nigeria shows that more than 133 million Nigerians are suffering from multidimensional poverty.”eNCA
“Banditry and kidnapping in Nigeria have become a lucrative business, much more than the oil business.”DW News
“The World Bank is projecting that debt servicing will go up to 123.4% of Nigeria’s revenue in 2023”TVC News
Today, corruption, violence and extreme poverty are rife.
On top of that, as extreme flooding showed last year, Nigeria faces the impact of climate change.
“It’s a very very big problem now. Especially when you realise that we’ve not seen the full effect of global warming, oh. We’re only just beginning to feel the effects.”TVC News
Former president Muhammadu Buhari was accused of doing very little to help address the problems facing Nigeria.
And it’s not clear exactly what Bola Tinubu is going to do differently.
Nigeria’s population is set to rise to 400 million by 2050, almost double its current size, to become the fourth most populous country in the world.
Cracks in the country’s infrastructure are beginning to show and Nigerians are growing tired.
The north of the country is much poorer than the south and that has caused deep divisions. As the population grows, Bola Tinubu will need to try and close that gap to unite Nigeria.
But like in other African countries, an election that many thought had the chance to change the trajectory of a country has ended with an establishment politician being elected president.
The newly mobilised youth will be keeping a close eye on what the president-elect does next, but in the meantime, they’ll have to keep waiting for their turn.
This episode was written by Tomini Babs and mixed by Patricia Clarke.