Nigerian Election: Peter Obi defeats Bola Tinubu in Lagos 0

Peter Obi, an outsider presidential candidate, has defeated Bola “The Godfather of Lagos” Tinubu in Lagos.

The defeat will come as a personal blow to Tinubu. He is a former two-term governor of the state who is referred to by his critics and allies as the “Godfather of Lagos” for his seemingly total political control over the country’s most populous state. The self-proclaimed “City Boy” had based his candidacy on his own perceived popularity in Lagos, promising at rallies to do for Nigeria what he did in Lagos.

For young people especially, Obi’s victory in the state, and the huge embarrassment it will cause Tinubu’s APC party, will be seen as a considerable consolation prize should the third-party candidate not win the presidency.

“I have a simple question, if your nickname is “city boy” and you lose the city, what would your new nickname be?” Modupe Odele, a prominent activist during the #EndSARS demonstrations wrote.

A popular Nigerian actor and activist known as Mr Macaroni said Obi’s victory was a victory for people power. “Nigerians, the power will always be yours anytime you are ready to take it!!!” he wrote on Twitter.

Lagos was at the centre of 2020’s #EndSARS protests, where thousands of young people took to the streets to protest against corruption and police brutality. Ever since the demonstrations ended after authorities allegedly shot at peaceful demonstrators in Lagos’ upscale Lekki neighbourhood, activists have worked to organise towards removing APC from statewide office.  The effort will continue in two weeks when the state’s governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, one of Tinubu’s closest allies, will be up for re-election.

As residents voted on Saturday and word of a high turnout spread, there were widespread reports of violence and intimidation at polling stations across the city, specifically in areas that were believed to favour Obi.

The violence in the city meant many Lagosians chose to stay at home on Monday, with some schools closed. 

The shock result comes as Nigerians await the final results of its presidential election.

Nigeria’s voting body, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has been severely criticised for the collapse of its much-touted new digital reporting technology, which has meant that the votes have been declared days later than was promised. The new system was meant to ensure officers at each of the country’s 171,000 polling stations could report results online in real time.

As a result, most states are yet to declare their results almost two days after the election. In a statement on Sunday, INEC said the untested system had struggled to cope with the demand on its servers.