Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari won a second term at the helm of Africa’s largest economy and top oil producer, the electoral commission chairman said on Wednesday, following an election marred by delays, logistical glitches and violence.
Buhari, in power since 2015, faced a tight election contest against the main opposition candidate – businessman and former vice president, Atiku Abubakar.
Buhari, 76, secured 56 percent of the vote, compared with 41 percent for Atiku, a candidate for the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
Buhari faces a daunting to-do list, including reviving an economy still struggling to recover from a 2016 recession and quelling a decade-old Islamist insurgency that has killed thousands of people in the northeast.
Addressing supporters at the campaign headquarters of his All Progressive Congress (APC) party in the capital Abuja, he promised increased efforts to tackle these issues.
“The new administration will intensify its efforts in security, restructuring the economy and fighting corruption,” he said.
The president won by 3.9 million votes, having garnered 15.2 million to Atiku’s 11.3 million.
The election turnout was 35.6 percent, the electoral commission said, which compared with 44 percent in the2015 presidential election.
“Muhammadu Buhari of the APC, having satisfied the requirement of the law and scored the highest number of votes is hereby declared the winner,” Mahmood Yakubu, chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), told election officials and reporters in the early hours of Wednesday.
A message on Buhari’s Twitter feed late on Tuesday showed him smiling and surrounded by applauding staff at his campaign office.
“As a youth of Nigeria I believe this is the way forward for this country and for my generation and that is why we choose to bring him back for the second time,” said Juwarat Abubakar, a Buhari supporter.
Opposition do not accept results
Osita Chidoka, a representative of the PDP and its defeated candidate Atiku, repeated the party’s stance that it does not accept the election result.
“We will explore all options including the belief that the legal process in Nigeria is one of the ways to resolve issues,” he said.
Buhari’s party has said the opposition was trying to discredit the returns from Saturday’s election.
Article sourced from France24