While Tinubu wins Nigeria’s presidential election, Christians aren’t placing their hope in politics

By March 2, 2023

Nigeria (MNN) — In a surprising turn of events, Nigeria’s presidential election will not go into a runoff. It was expected to be a tight race. Instead, the ruling party candidate, Bola Tinubu, was declared president-elect after winning 37% of the votes from last weekend.

The other two primary candidates were Atiku Abubakar, Nigeria’s former vice president and a Fulani Muslim from the north; and Peter Obi, a Christian from the southeast. The victor, Tinubu, is a Muslim from the southwest and a veteran politician who ran on the audacious slogan that it was “his turn” for the presidency.

Large numbers of young people turned out for the election among a record 93 million registered voters.

Bola Tinubu, Nigeria’s president-elect. (Photo courtesy of Chatham House – Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=26223891)

Greg Kelley with World Mission says, “I think this quite honestly could be the most consequential election in the last generation. And that’s not just for Nigeria, that’s for Africa because Nigeria is such a trigger point for the entire continent of Africa. As Nigeria goes, so much of Africa goes.

“It’s really located itself literally right in the dividing, the line of demarcation from Christianity and Islam, and that cuts right through the center of that country. So there’s a tremendous amount of hostilities, religious challenges, and persecution in Nigeria.”

Over the last eight years of Muhammadu Buhari’s presidency, Nigeria has been plagued by increasing violence — particularly in the northeastern region, where the Boko Haram insurgency has been active for over a decade. The radical Muslim group has carried out numerous attacks, targeting Christians and other minorities. Millions of people have been displaced.

Kelley says, on the political level, “Sometimes there’s tough talk that happens, but there’s no substance to holding people accountable. And people, not only Christians but even moderate Muslims, are frustrated by the lack of accountability.”

Politics only go so far. Kelley says, “The only solution for Nigeria and these other conflict zones around the world is the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which fundamentally changes the heart. Until that happens, there’s quite honestly only a bunch of temporary solutions that are band-aids.”

These disciples of Christ are passionately sharing God’s Word in North Eastern Nigeria.
(Photo, caption courtesy of World Mission)

World Mission works with Nigerian Christians to distribute their audio Bible called The Treasure to Muslims in northern Nigeria.

“We emphasize the Word of God in the mother tongue language of the people in a format that the people will understand and embrace.”

Pray that God’s Word will not return void, but change hearts. Pray also for wisdom and courage for Nigeria’s new leadership.

Click here to learn more about World Mission.





Header photo courtesy of Salem Ochidi via Unsplash.

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