With only results from Borno State left to be declared, the All Progressives Congress presidential candidate, Muhammadu Buhari, has an unassailable lead over the incumbent President, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
The APC leads with 14,951,378 (53.24%) to PDP’s 12,827,552 (45.67%), and they have won 19 states (20 if you include Borno) to PDP’s 16. Jonathan, in a great move for democracy, has called to congratulate Buhari on his victory.
The conduct of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) headed by Professor Attahiru Jega, has been commendable. In a very difficult political terrain with insecurity in some parts and allegations of interference or bias from both sides, Prof Jega displayed a level of calmness which infected the nation and kept people assured of the integrity of the process.
President Jonathan leaves the presidency after campaigning hard in an effort to hold on to it. His administration may be defined by corruption scandals, an energy crisis and his failure to reign in the threat of Boko Haram, despite the victories recorded at the eleventh hour. His call to congratulate Buhari even before the formal declaration of a winner was admirable. And at least, he leaves a population largely frustrated with his governance one good thing to remember him by.
For Buhari, it has been a long and hard journey back to the leadership of Nigeria. Thirty-two years ago he captured the high office through the force of arms. Now he is ascending to the presidency on a ladder of votes cast in his favour. After three unsuccessful attempts, he finally triumphed on the strength of an alliance with other political parties and the resentment against a failing president.
Nigeria is Africa’s most populous nation and largest economy. Such a successful election is an indication that the giant might be waking up from its slumber. The new nation expects much of the former General, but for tonight, they celebrate this historic moment.
Congrats Naija! Sai Buhari!