Bola Tinubu, the former governor of Lagos state, represents the same party as outgoing President Muhammadu Buhari, who Tinubu said he helped propel to the top seat in 2015.
After decades spent behind the scenes, Tinubu launched his campaign for the presidency with the motto: “It’s my turn.”
He will become Nigeria’s fifth elected president since 1999, winning the race for the country’s top job on his first attempt.
Buhari congratulated his soon-to-be successor in a statement Wednesday, calling him “the best person for the job.”
Vote counting since Saturday’s polls has been vehemently challenged by many who allege the process has been marred by corruption and technical failures. On Tuesday, the country’s main opposition parties described the results of the election as “heavily doctored and manipulated” in a joint news conference.
They said they had lost confidence in Yakubu, the electoral body chairman, and that the results “do not reflect the wishes of Nigerians.”
The INEC has rejected the calls for a fresh vote , with one spokesperson insisting the election process had been “free, fair and credible.”
In his speech, Tinubu also commended the INEC for “running a credible election no matter what anybody says.”
But several observers, including the European Union, have also criticized the election for lacking transparency.
“The election fell well short of Nigerian citizens’ reasonable expectations,” said a joint observer mission of the International Republican Institute (IRI) and National Democratic Institute (NDI).