Bola Tinubu, 70, has been declared the winner of Nigeria’s best election for the reason that finish of navy rule in 1999.
Extensively credited with reshaping Nigeria’s business hub Lagos, Mr Tinubu noticed off a divided opposition celebration and a youth-backed third-party candidate and is ready to exchange President Muhammadu Buhari in Might, until the opposition claims of manipulation result in a rerun.
Africa’s most populous nation is dealing with a crumbling financial system, widespread insecurity and excessive inflation. Many will need Mr Tinubu to hit the bottom working when he takes on considered one of Africa’s most daunting jobs.
As soon as pressured into exile by navy ruler Sani Abacha, Mr Tinubu is aware of the worth of freedom and wears it as an insignia on his signature hat – a damaged shackle that appears like a horizontal determine of eight.
A skilled accountant, it was the actions of the pro-democracy Nationwide Democratic Coalition (Nadeco) group, the place he was a member, that introduced him into Abacha’s crosshairs.
The opposition of teams like Nadeco, and Abacha’s demise in 1998, ushered in Nigeria’s democracy in 1999 and in some ways, Mr Tinubu, a former Mobil oil government, feels entitled to Nigeria’s presidency.
Mr Tinubu, generally known as “Jagaban” by supporters, will now be taking a look at unifying a rustic that’s retreating into regional strains and non secular blocs, because the election outcomes present.
However it’s not a job that fazes him. He has pointed to his time as Lagos state governor between 1999 and 2007 to promote his candidacy to Nigerians.
Below his tenure, Lagos massively grew its revenue by big international funding, whereas a public transport scheme that noticed new lanes created for speedy buses eased the infamous site visitors jams confronted each day by commuters.
However the metropolis of round 25 million individuals has not lived as much as its status as a megacity regardless of his claims of turning it round.
Public infrastructure is essentially in a state of disrepair – fundamental facilities akin to water and public housing are decrepit, whereas a lightweight rail venture began throughout his reign has not been accomplished virtually 20 years later regardless of the riches of the state.
He has additionally been accused of preserving a grip on state funds regardless of leaving workplace in 2007.
Each governor that has succeeded him has been a protégé following a “grand roadmap”, whereas one which dared to search out his personal path was shortly dropped at heel, aided by highly effective transport union members.
There are additionally allegations of corruption towards Mr Tinubu, which he denies.
Two years in the past, Dapo Apara, an accountant at Alpha-beta, a agency the place Mr Tinubu purportedly holds stakes by a crony, accused him of utilizing the agency for cash laundering, fraud, tax evasion and different corrupt practices.
Mr Tinubu was sued regardless of him and Alpha-beta denying the allegations however all events determined to settle out of courtroom final June.
Such allegations, together with twice dealing with Nigeria’s Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), on allegations of breaching the code of public officers – the place he was cleared – make opponents say Mr Tinubu shouldn’t be the best man for the job in a rustic the place corruption is excessive.
Within the earlier election, a brazen show of an armoured van utilized by banks to maneuver cash driving into his palatial compound within the Ikoyi space of Lagos fuelled suspicions that he was concerned in vote-buying, which he made no nice effort to disclaim.
“If I’ve cash, if I like, I give it to the individuals freed from cost, so long as [it’s] to not purchase votes,” he mentioned.
He’s considered one of Nigeria’s richest politicians however there are questions on his wealth.
In December, he told the BBC that he inherited some actual property which he then invested, however previously he additionally mentioned he turned an “on the spot millionaire” whereas working as an auditor at Deloitte and Touche.
He mentioned he had saved $1.8m (£1.5m) from his wages and different allowances, practically the identical quantity present in accounts linked to him in a 1993 dispute with the US authorities.
In paperwork which might be publicly accessible, the US Division of Justice alleged that from early 1988, accounts opened within the identify of Bola Tinubu held the proceeds of gross sales of white heroin.
Kevin Moss, the particular agent that investigated the operation, alleged that Mr Tinubu labored for his or her prime suspect Adegoboyega Akande.
Whereas the courtroom confirmed it had trigger to imagine the cash within the financial institution accounts had been the proceeds of drug trafficking, Mr Tinubu and the others denied the allegations, and the courtroom by no means made a closing order in regards to the cash’s origins.
As a substitute, Mr Tinubu, who was not personally charged over the cash, reached a compromise settlement with authorities and forfeited $460,000.
Mr Tinubu additionally faces questions on his well being, as soon as posting an eight-second video of him driving an train bike as proof-of-life.
Opponents say his age is catching up with him and level to movies of varied gaffes at marketing campaign rallies the place it may be exhausting to grasp what he is saying.
Many Nigerians are cautious of one other president with well being points after President Umaru Yar’Adua died in workplace in 2010 and a present president who has spent appreciable time getting medical remedy overseas.
However his supporters say he has the stamina for the job and isn’t competing for a spot on the Olympics.
In the course of the marketing campaign, there was some controversy about his selection of a running-mate.
Mr Tinubu, a southern Muslim, picked former Borno state governor Kashim Shettima, a northern Muslim, as his vice.
This transfer was seen as appeasing Nigeria’s Muslim-majority north which has the most important voting bloc within the nation.
Nonetheless, it drew the ire of many Christians who say it went towards the custom of mixed-faith tickets for the presidency.
He defended his selection, saying he went for competence over primordial pursuits.
He’s seen because the political “godfather” of the south-west area and its most influential determine, who decides how energy is distributed amongst his many acolytes.
In 2015 he described describes himself as a “expertise hunter” that places “skills into workplace”.
His immense political affect led to the merger of opposition events in 2013 and ultimately wrestled energy from the then-ruling PDP in 2015 – a rarity in Nigeria the place incumbents usually are not usually defeated.
Throughout his celebration main, when it regarded as if Mr Tinubu’s aspirations had been flagging, he reminded Nigerians that he was largely accountable for putting in President Muhammadu Buhari after the previous navy ruler had failed on a number of events to win the presidency.
Mr Buhari’s associates have since tried to downplay the previous governor’s affect within the 2015 election, however it’s unlikely that the present president would have emerged, twice, with out the backing of Mr Tinubu.
That’s the reason his supporters noticed it as a betrayal when Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, who labored with Mr Tinubu as a commissioner in Lagos, ran towards his former boss for the APC ticket.
Having gained the election, he must sort out many points left behind by Mr Buhari – widespread insecurity, excessive unemployment, rising inflation and a rustic divided alongside ethnic strains.
It isn’t an inconceivable job, however the job forward is daunting.