The journey to Nigeria’s presidency has been long, starting with the presidential primaries in May 2022

On March 1, 2023, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared Bola Tinubu (BAT) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) winner of a tumultuous electioneering process marred by pockets of violence across the country. 

[Buhari and Tinubu shake hands / Twitter]

The electioneering saw voter suppression, violence, allegations of vote buying, and lack of transparency, among other failings.

While many young Nigerians are still absorbing the outcome of this news, it might be helpful to understand what the coming days will look like for Nigerians and the president-elect.

The transition committee

On February 14, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, unveiled the presidential transition committee. This followed an executive order signed on February 7 to facilitate and manage the presidential transition.

This committee is responsible for facilitating the handover process. They also provide security briefings and set up personnel for the president-elect and his transition team.


The opposition parties including the Labour Party (LP), the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) have called for cancellation of the elections fraught with irregularities. It takes no genius to see that the election tribunal has a busy schedule ahead of it.

The certificate of return

INEC will issue a certificate of return today, March 1, to the APC flag bearers BAT and his running mate, Kashim Shettima. INEC chair Mahmood Yakubu declared earlier that the duo “satisfied the requirements of the law and are returned elected.” 

Swearing in on May 29

May 29 used to be Nigeria’s Democracy (and swearing-in) Day because it was when Nigeria returned to democracy in 1999 after years of military rule. In 2018, President Buhari changed Democracy Day to June 12 in honour of MKO Abiola, who was widely regarded as the annulled June 12, 1993, presidential election winner.

Still, on May 29, 2023, a new president will be sworn in after being administered the oath of office by the chief justice of the federation. 

This is officially the beginning of the new president’s tenure.

[Buhari taking the oath of office in 2015 / Nigerian Observer]

Change of guard

The president is heavily protected by a set of guards across military and intelligence services attached to him. However, as the outgoing president leaves, the incoming gets fresh protection. 

In 2015, it took a month after Buhari’s swearing-in to have a new set of bodyguards. According to a report by Vanguard, 150 bodyguards were rendered redundant as they were all posted out of Aso Villa following Buhari’s emergence.

Setting up of ministerial cabinet

Buhari earned the title “Baba go slow” for his slowness in naming his cabinet. He was inaugurated into office on May 29, 2015, but only had his ministerial cabinet ready by September. We hope the new president doesn’t take a leaf from Buhari’s playbook and, instead, hits the ground running.

Now you know what happens after a winner is declared. 

Thank you for following the Zikoko Citizen live coverage of the presidential election. Tune in to our web page and WhatsApp for coverage of the gubernatorial elections on March 11, and tips on how to hold the new President’s agbada through his tenure in office. 


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