2003 Nigerian presidential election

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2003 Nigerian presidential election

← 1999 19 April 2003 2007 →
  Olusegun Obasanjo 1-2.jpg Muhammadu Buhari with John Kerry (cropped 2).jpg
Nominee Olusegun Obasanjo Muhammadu Buhari
Running mate Atiku Abubakar Chuba Okadigbo
States carried 25 + FCT 5
Popular vote 24,456,140 12,710,022
Percentage 61.94% 32.19%

President before election

Olusegun Obasanjo

Elected President

Olusegun Obasanjo

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Presidential elections were held in Nigeria on 19 April 2003. The result was a victory for incumbent Olusegun Obasanjo of the People's Democratic Party, who defeated his closest opponent Muhammadu Buhari by over 11 million votes. Voter turnout was 69.1%.[1]


New elections were organised for the first time for 15 years in Nigeria by a civilian government. Olusegun Obasanjo was a civilian president since 1999, after hanging up his uniform. Although he and his party were the clear favourites, he was accused of manipulating the ballot.

Electoral fraud[edit]

Millions of people voted several times. The police in Lagos uncovered an electoral fraud, finding five million false ballots.

International observers, including the European Union, determined various irregularities in 11 of the 36 Federal States. Thus in many cases votes were pre-filled or results were later amended. In some states those did not fulfil minimum standard for democratic elections.

Nearly all opposition parties refused to recognise the result. The electoral committee noted for example that in the city Warri in the Niger delta of 135,739 voters, 133,529 voted for the parliamentary election. Observers reported, however, that up to the Saturday afternoon no elections and only some polling stations had opened. Also the counting time very long compared with other countries pointed according to observers on possible electoral fraud.


Candidate Party Votes %
Olusegun Obasanjo People's Democratic Party 24,456,140 61.94
Muhammadu Buhari All Nigeria People's Party 12,710,022 32.19
Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu All Progressives Grand Alliance 1,297,445 3.29
Jim Nwobodo United Nigeria People's Party 169,609 0.43
Gani Fawehinmi National Conscience Party 161,333 0.41
Sarah Jubril Progressive Action Congress 157,560 0.40
Ike Nwachukwu National Democratic Party 132,997 0.34
Chris Okotie Justice Party 119,547 0.30
Balarabe Musa People's Redemption Party 100,765 0.26
Arthur Nwankwo People's Mandate Party 57,720 0.15
Emmanuel Okereke All People's Liberation Party 26,921 0.07
Kalu Idika Kalu New Nigeria People's Party 23,830 0.06
Muhammadu Dikko Yusuf Movement for Democracy and Justice 21,403 0.05
Yahaya Ndu African Renaissance Party 11,565 0.03
Abayomi Ferreira Democratic Alternative 6,727 0.02
Tunji Braithwaite Nigeria Advance Party 6,932 0.02
Iheanyichukwu Godswill Nnaji Better Nigeria Progressive Party 5,987 0.02
Olapade Agoro National Action Council 5,756 0.01
Pere Ajuwa Liberal Democratic Party of Nigeria 4,473 0.01
Mojisola Adekunle-Obasanjo Masses Movement of Nigeria 3,757 0.01
Invalid/blank votes 2,538,246
Total 42,018,735 100
Registered voters/turnout 60,823,022 69.07
Source: African Elections Database


  1. ^ Elections in Nigeria African Elections Database