Obi beats Nigeria’s ruling party to win Lagos in major upset

(Bloomberg) —

In a big surprise, outsider candidate Peter Obi won Lagos state, beating the most powerful politician in Nigeria’s commercial center in the country’s hotly contested presidential election.

Labour Party candidate Obi beat Bola Tinubu, of the ruling All Progressives Congress and a former Lagos state governor, by a narrow margin, according to results declared by the country’s electoral commission. Obi’s win is a political earthquake for the key state, where Tinubu dominated politics for a quarter century.

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Obi won 582,454 votes to Tinubu’s 572,606 votes, according to the results announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission in Abuja.

Still, it does not mean that Obi, the former Anambra State governor, is in a position to win the presidency — he trails both Tinubu and Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party in the ten states officially called so far.

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Tinubu acknowledged the Lagos defeat in a statement calling for calm on Monday.

“The fact that the APC narrowly lost Lagos State to another party should not be the reason for violence,” Tinubu said in an emailed statement. “As a democrat, you win some, you lose some. We must allow the process to continue unhindered across the country while we maintain peace and decorum.”

Lagos is home to the nation’s main stock exchange and at least 25 of its banks. 

© 2023 Bloomberg L.P.

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