You are looking at Muhammadu Buhari who is set to take over from incumbent president Goodluck Jonathan. The victory which was announced earlier this evening did not come easily. There were accusations and speculations thrown left, right and centre to discredit the polls in states where Buhari emerged the victor. The mere collation and eventual announcement of the results of each of the 36 states was nothing short of a soap opera. The tension in the country after last Saturday’s presidential voting exercise could be cut with a knife. There were general concerns both from within and outside Nigeria that there could be security threats stemming from reactions to election results. Employers in most parts of the country (including mine) permitted their employees to leave work early to get to their respective homes safely. But alas, all was calm in most parts of the country and the Nigerian people took a stand for peace.
Ears were glued to radios, phones and TV screens as Professor Jega, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Chairman took the nation through a gruelling ‘announce and recess’ game from Monday to Tuesday 6.30pm, shortly before Jonathan conceded defeat and called Buhari to congratulate him in advance. The results below is a summary of the performance of Jonathan’s party PDP – People’s Democratic Party and Buahri’s party APC – All Progressives Congress:
Based on the Nigerian Constitution, the winner of a presidential election shall win by number of votes as well as having at least 25% of two-thirds (24) out of the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). While both political opponents met the 25% criteria, Buhari beat Jonathan by over 2 million votes to clinch the presidential seat. Below is an illustration showing the states won in Nigeria by the two parties (Note – Blue for APC and Red for PDP):
You may have noticed there’s one state in the Nigerian map above that’s grey – that’s Borno, the only state whose results were not announced before Jonathan conceded to Buhari, and the state from which the Chibok girls were kidnapped and spurned the #BringBackOurGirls campaign till this day. Could this have the been the final straw that swayed voters in the opposition’s favour?
March 31st 2015 will go down in history as the day when Nigeria witnessed that there is strength in numbers, a united front for change, and an insatiable desire for real change. Politicians and governors alike in Nigeria need to take precaution in the way they handle the affairs of the nation as the people have said in one voice Enough is Enough. The Governorship election is up on 11th April and I feel it will be just as peaceful as the presidential elections has been. It’s no longer ‘Godfatherism’ or Politics as usual in Nigeria. It is a new era, a new dawn, a new beginning…and I am so glad that I exercised my voting rights just so I could be a part of that long-awaited change.
On that note, I will be writing a letter to Buhari pretty soon. I have written to Jonathan twice in the past: while he was Acting president and as president-elect clearly he is reaping the consequence of not adhering to my advice. Better luck next time (but we both know pigs will fly before that happens). But in fairness, Jonathan brought about free and fair, credible elections – the one exemplary achievement that positively affected the whole nation and invariably led to his unexpected farewell. The irony of it all. Sai Baba! God Bless Nigeria 🙂
Sources: Twitter images