The Federal Republic of Nigeria’s newly sworn-in president made history on Monday by becoming the first democratically elected leader to have previously held the offices of governor and senator.
Tinubu was elected to the Lagos West senate seat in 1992. He chaired the Senate Committee on Banking, Finance, Appropriations, and Currency for the 22 months he served in the Senate.
Tinubu was forced to leave the country after the military dictatorship overthrew the third republic because he had fought for the reinstatement of democracy and the election of Moshood Abiola as the new president.
Returning to Nigeria in 1999, Tinubu joined the Justice Forum, a platform for progressives in Lagos, and went on to become one of the key figures in the formation of the Alliance for Democracy. Members of NADECO, Afenifere, and ordinary residents all supported him. This provided him with the support network he required to emerge as the AD’s choice for governor of Lagos State.
In a resounding victory, Tinubu received 814,000 votes to defeat Dapo Sarumi, a candidate for the Peoples Democratic Party, who received 184,000; Nosiru Kekere-Ekun, a candidate for the All Peoples Party, received 122,000 votes. 19 of the 20 local councils were won by Tinubu.
With 8.7 million votes, Tinubu easily trounced his rivals Peter Obi of the Labour Party and Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party in the 2023 presidential elections, which were conducted on February 25. More than the 24 states necessary by the constitution, he received over 25% of the votes cast in 30 states, and on March 1, 2023, the Independent National Electoral Commission proclaimed him the winner.
He was the first former senator to rise to the level of governor before being elected president of Nigeria.