Muhammadu Buhari has won Nigeria’s presidential election, beating the incumbent, President Goodluck Jonathan.
In the country’s first election victory by the opposition, Gen Buhari’s All Progressives Congress (APC) won the election by at least two million vote difference.
For Gen Buhari who had contested the presidential election four times, the victory is a dream come true. Ironically, the merciless killings by the Boko Haram militant group, which have claimed 20,000 lives and forced some three million people from their homes, contributed to Buhari’s victory. Buhari had made a change of leadership and security his top campaign themes. Although the poll was delayed for six weeks to help improve the security situation in the country, the recent government visible gains and defeats against the Boko Haram terrorists seem to have come too late for many who felt that Gen Buhari would be in a better position to restore order in the country.
The President Goodluck Jonathan’s party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has been in power since the end of military rule in 1999, but it seems many Nigerians wanted a change of leadership. Prior to the election, both President Goodluck Jonathan and Muhammadu Buhari had a close door meeting where they signed a non-violence election agreement. If the report from Muhammadu Buhari All Progressives Congress (APC) which claimed that the incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan, admitted defeat and congratulated Buhari, is true, and President Goodluck Jonathan honours his nonviolence agreement, he would go down in the history as the only Nigerian incumbent president, who accepted election defeat, without instigating violence and acrimony. It is a noble act all peace loving Nigerians should heartily thank President Goodluck Jonathan for.
Even though, the economy is booming and the National income growing rapidly at more than 5% this year, the election of Gen Buhari seems to show that many voters were not in the mood of thanking President Goodluck Jonathan for his economic success. Regardless, Nigerians should be given a huge credit for the relatively non-violence election.
Clearly, voters have indeed indicated their desire for a change – and security. The question is whether Muhammadu Buhari can deliver what he has promised.