In the keenest electoral result Nigeria has ever witnessed, Major General Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday emerged Nigeria’s next president on Tuesday even before the last votecount arrived.
The emergence threw many parts of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Kano, Kaduna, Jigawa and Lagos, among others, into wild jubilation.
Incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who contested and lost, placed a call to Buhari at about 5.15pm to concede defeat and congratulate him.
After the results of nation’s 36 states and the FCT were collated, General Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC) polled 15,426,921 to Jonathan’s 12,853,162.
Hundreds of APC supporters occupied major streets in the in the nation’s capital, many of them in motorcades, moving from one part of the city to another chanting “Nigeria! sai Buhari; APC, change!”
At about 6:10pm, while INEC was on recess to reconvene by 8pm for the collation of the final result from Borno State, the Daily Times broke the news on its website that President Goodluck Jonathan had called General Buhari, to concede defeat.
Incumbent President Jonathan contested on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
From the moment the news hit the streets, the capital city became occupied with jubilant party supporters and loyalists of the APC and its candidate.
After three previous failed shots at the presidency, Buhari finally clinched the victory that will guarantee his moving into Aso Rock, as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria come May 29, 2015.
The victory is the first ever by any opposition party in Nigeria to unseat an incumbent since the inception of democracy in the country.
One of the people celebrating, Mr Chris Eze, told Daily Times that the jubilation was based on the fact that the votes of Nigerians counted, for once.
He said: “This is a ballot revolution and I am very happy because our politicians will never take us for granted again. Now we have realised that we have the power to vote in and voteout any government that performs below the expectations of the electorate.”
Former President of the Ijaw Youth Council, and founder, Niger Delter People’s Volunteer Force (NDPVF), Alhaji Mujahid Dokubo Asari has disclaimed a report on tweeter that he has declared support for the President- elect.
Dokubo-Asari made the disclaimer on his tweeter handle stating: “There is a tweet circulating and trending right now purportedly ascribed to me…. This tweet is not from me…I had never supported any government in the Nigerian state before the government of my brother Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan…
“My position on the independence and restoration of the stolen sovereignty of my country will never never be negotiated away….Let it be known by the creators of these cowardly tweet that treachery is not part of mine DNA,” he warned.
Rivers state governor and Director- General of the APC Presidential Campaign Organisation, Rotimi Amaechi, said on Tuesday that his party would be magnanimous in victory when it takes over power on May 29.
Gov Amaechi, who said this at the party’s secretariat in Abuja, pledged that the government of Buhari would be all-inclusive.
“It has become clearer to the nation that APC has won the election and we will be magnanimous in victory,” he said.
Buhari added that the APC cherished the victory so much but “it is not only about celebration, it is about the seriousness of governance and you must see the difference between us the current government.”
He continued: “If we say there is incompetence, we must show competence; if we say there was corruption, we must show that we will not be corrupt. If we say that people were denied their basic right, we must protect the right of people.
“If we say there was impunity, we must govern by the rule of law and once we show that, you will see the basic difference between us and the current government’’.
He noted that the victory of the party at the presidential election was historic as it was the first time in the history of the country’s democracy that an incumbent federal government would be defeated.
“The victory is historic to me. I will be proud to tell my children that for the first time in the history of Nigeria, the opposition party was able to rout the government and party in power.
“We were able to present a different picture of what life looks like which is giving the people the courage to confront the current government on corruption and confront the fact that people were hungry. This is because they don’t go to the same market as other Nigerians go.
“They have the kind of funds they want and they eat the kind of food they want to eat but Nigerians were dying of hunger.
“We want to let Nigerians know that Boko Haram was not about religion alone, there was element of poverty and ignorance saying that the incoming government would have to deal with falling standard of education and unemployment in the north and in the south.
He assured that the Buhari administration would make Nigerians to understand that religion was never an issue in Nigeria.