Story Nigeria | 02 March 2023
Nigerian election results are in—please pray!


Show: true / Country: Nigeria / Nigeria
It appears the Nigerian presidential election has come to a conclusion. Bola Tinubu, the 70-year-old candidate with the All Progressive Congress (APC) party, won with 8.7 million votes (36 percent of the total), which means there is no runoff under Nigerian law. 

However, opposing political parties have accused the APC of corruption and vote rigging. The two other leading candidates—Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi, who both received more than 6 million votes—and their supporters have said they will challenge the results. The elections saw incidents of violence and intimidation, and some polling stations had extremely long lines that likely impacted the number of votes cast. It seems there will likely be lawsuits and ongoing disputes, but we will update as things progress. And it means we need to pray. 

The APC party is the same one led by outgoing president Muhammadu Buhari, who has come under fire for years for the deteriorating security conditions in Nigeria—and an economy that has seen more than 60% of Nigerians living as “multidimensionally poor.”  

For Nigerian Christians, life under Buhari has reflected both facts. It’s become the most violent place in the world for followers of Jesus, rising to No. 6 on the 2023 World Watch List. Christians face abduction, destruction of churches and homes, and even death. 

It remains to be seen how President-elect Tinubu will change the situation for believers—if at all. Earlier this week, as news of the result began to emerge, an Open Doors local partner shared, “The atmosphere here is that of anger, disappointment and fear of what may happen.”

Our partners in Nigeria also shared that many Nigerian Christians are disappointed, particularly young people and first-time voters. The situation remains tense, and they’ve asked us to pray with them.

Here’s how you can pray:
  • This request probably sounds like a broken record, but we cannot stress how critical it is to pray for peaceful acceptance of the results. Pray for restraint among all citizens and that legal avenues—and not violent reactions—will be used to challenge the results. 
  • Pray for the young people who feel dejected; pray they will guard their hearts against apathy and not lose hope. May they hold fast that our hope is not in this world, nor its leaders.
  • Continue to pray for pastors in Nigeria. May God grant them the necessary wisdom to minister to all who feel defeated and anxious. 
  • Pray for the elected president and vice-president. "The king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the LORD; He turns it whichever way He wishes." Proverbs 21:1 Pray that President-elect Tinubu will lead Nigeria with justice and equity, and that under his administration, security will improve and religious freedom might flourish in Nigeria. 
Top photo: A photo of President-elect Tinubu, taken in 2011 by Chatham House - CC BY 2.0,

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