Nigeria's Buhari Wins Historic Election Landslide

President Goodluck Jonathan concedes defeat, an unprecedented step that should help to defuse anger among his disgruntled supporters.

Reuters
Reuters
Opposition candidate Gen. Muhammadu Buhari holds his ballot paper in the air before casting his vote in his home town of Daura, northern Nigeria Saturday, March 28, 2015.
Opposition candidate Gen. Muhammadu Buhari holds his ballot paper in the air before casting his vote in his home town of Daura, northern Nigeria Saturday, March 28, 2015. Credit: AP
Reuters
Reuters

Three decades after seizing power in a military coup, Muhammadu Buhari became the first Nigerian to oust a president through the ballot box, putting him in charge of Africa's biggest economy and one of its most turbulent democracies.

President Goodluck Jonathan called Buhari on Tuesday to concede defeat in the weekend election, Buhari's camp said, an unprecedented step that should help to defuse anger among disgruntled Jonathan supporters.

In the religiously mixed northern city of Kaduna, where 800 people were killed in violence after Nigeria's last elections in 2011, Buhari's supporters streamed onto the streets, waving flags, dancing and singing in celebration.

Jonathan's People's Democratic Party (PDP) has been in charge since the end of army rule in 1999 but had been losing popularity due to a string of corruption scandals and the rise of Boko Haram's Islamist insurgency in the northeast.

"At about 5 minutes to 5, President Jonathan called General Muhammadu Buhari, the winner of the elections, to congratulate him," APC spokesman Lai Mohammed told reporters at the party's headquarters in Abuja.

"There had always been this fear that he might not want to concede but he will remain a hero for this move," he added. "The tension will go down dramatically."
Around him, women in brightly coloured dresses danced and sang, ululating in celebration.

A final tally of the results compiled by Reuters gave the sandal-wearing and ascetic Buhari 15.4 million votes against 13.3 million for Jonathan, a margin of victory that is likely to render any legal challenges irrelevant.

Click the alert icon to follow topics:

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.

Subscribe today and save 40%

Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

Crowds at Israel's Ben-Gurion International Airport, in April.

U.S. Official: West Bank Entry for Palestinian Americans Unrelated to Israeli Visa Waivers

Haaretz spoke with several people who said they had fled Ukraine, arrived in Israel,  and were asked to undergo DNA tests in order to establish paternity.

'My Jewish Grandmother Has a Number on Her Arm, Why Does Israel Greet Me This Way?'

FILE PHOTO: A Star of David hangs from a fence outside the dormant landmark Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh's Squirrel Hill neighborhood in 2021.

American Judaism Is in Decline. That's Great News for American Jews

People taking part in the annual "March of the Living" to commemorate the Holocaust, between the former death camps of Auschwitz and Birkenau in Oswiecim, Poland, four years ago.

It’s Not Just the Holocaust. Israel Is Failing to Teach the History of the Jews

 A Jewish cemetery in Warsaw, Poland.

Israel and Poland Fight Over History, Truth - and Israeli Students

A collage of the Bentwich family throughout the generations.

Unique Burial Plot in Jerusalem Tells Story of Extraordinary Jewish Dynasty