UPDATED 3/31/15, 8:43 P.M. EST: After a strong showing in the first tallies of election results, former military leader Muhammadu Buhari (pictured) has won Nigeria’s presidential election, according to Al Jazeera.
Buhari was declared the winner, after he garnered 2.7 million more votes that the incumbent Goodluck Jonathan.
This is the first time in Nigeria’s history that a sitting president hasn’t won re-election.
Al Jazeera reports:
Our correspondent said that Buhari managed to secure more than 25 percent of votes in 24 states, ruling out a run-off vote.
To win the election, Buhari had needed more than 50 percent of the total votes nationally – and take at least 25 percent of the vote in two thirds of the states.
Rather than contesting the results, President Jonathan embraced the results and warmly congratulated Buhari on his victory, while encouraging his supporters to follow “due process.”
“Nobody’s ambition is worth the blood of any Nigerian,” he said in a statement issued after his election defeat. “The unity, stability and progress of our dear country is more important than anything else.”
Of the President’s gracious acceptance of defeat, Lai Mohammed, All Progressives Congress party’s spokesman, said, “There had always been this fear that he might not want to concede, but he will remain a hero for this move. The tension will go down dramatically.”
With a little more than half of Nigeria‘s states’ election results in, former military leader Muhammadu Buhari has taken a substantial lead against incumbent Goodluck Jonathan, according to the BBC.
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While large states, such as Lagos and Rivers, are yet to be counted, the All Progressive Congress (APC) represented by Buhari is already said to be ahead by 2 million votes, after officials reportedly tallied the votes of 18 states in the capital of Abuja.
And even though many of the uncounted states are in the South — President Jonathan’s central region of support as a Christian — some analysts are already saying that Buhari’s “lead may well prove too wide to be bridged.”
Journalist Will Ross adds, “Unofficial results from most of the remaining states – published by national newspapers against electoral law – show that even if there are eyebrow-raising turnouts from Mr Jonathan’s strongholds in the Niger Delta, he is still in trouble.”
Voting was initially to take place on February 14th, but was postponed six weeks due to Boko Haram violence.
Therefore, Saturday officially commenced election voting, but then that day was extended in some regions to Sunday due to “technical glitches.”
While some areas, such as the aforementioned Lagos, recorded peaceful election voting, other states, such as Bauchi, sustained 50 deaths at polling stations due to the terrorist group.
Some anticipate that whoever the loser of this election is will cry foul about the results.
If President Jonathan loses, he will become the first incumbent in the nation to lose an election.