The Independent National Electoral Commission on Wednesday declared the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Muhammadu Buhari, winner of Saturday’s presidential election.
The Chairman of the Commission, Attahiru Jega, who announced the final result at exactly 2.55 a.m. Wednesday, after days of collation of results from across the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory, said Mr. Buhari polled a total 15,424,921 votes.
On the other hand, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, President Goodluck Jonathan, scored 12,853,162 votes.
Declaring the final result, the INEC Chairman said Mr. Buhari and the APC also satisfied the constitutional requirement by scoring at least 25 per cent of votes in 27 states.
Mr. Jonathan and his party, he said, also recorded 25 per cent of votes in 26 states of the federation in what has gone down in the country’s electoral history as one of the most keenly contested elections.
In his brief concession statement to concede victory, President Jonathan said he had kept his word to deliver to Nigerians a free and fair elections.
He congratulated all Nigerians for successfully going through the rigours of the March 28 elections with commendable enthusiasm and commitment as demonstrated in their patience throughout the exercise.
President Jonathan urged his supporters aggrieved by the results announced by INEC to follow due process based on the country’s constitution and electoral laws in seeking redress.
“As I have always affirmed, nobody’s ambition is worth the blood of any Nigerian. The unity, stability and progress of our dear country is more important than anything else,” he said.
While commending the security services for their role in ensuring the elections were mostly peaceful and violence-free, Mr. Jonathan thanked PDP members for their support.
“Today, the PDP should be celebrating, rather than mourning. We have established a legacy of democratic freedom, transparency, economic growth and free and fair elections.
“For the past 16 years, we have steered the country away from ethnic and regional politics. We created a Pan-Nigerian political party and brought home to our people the realities of economic development and social transformation.
“Through patriotism and diligence, we have built the biggest and most patriotic party in Nigerian history. We must stand together as a party and look to the future with renewed optimism,” he said.
He also thanked Nigerians for giving him the opportunity to lead Nigeria, assuring that he would continue to make himself available until the end of his tenure.
Earlier, the former Head of State, Abdulsalami Abubakar, who visited the outgoing President in State House, Abuja, thanked him for his statesmanship and stewardship, particularly in demonstrating rare courage in defeat.
Mr. Abubakar said this gesture opened a new chapter in the annals of the country’s political history for the loser in an election to call his opponent to congratulate him, pointing out that that Mr. Jonathan had shown that he was not only a man of his words, but also one that desires peace for the country