Nigeria election: Muhammadu Buhari re-elected as president

BBC – Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has been re-elected for a second four-year term, the election commission says.

The 76-year-old defeated his main rival, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, with a margin of nearly four million votes.

Mr Abubakar’s People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has rejected the result. Turnout was 35.6%.

Delays and violence marred the run-up to Saturday’s poll but no independent observer has cited electoral fraud.

Mr Buhari’s All Progressives Congress (APC) won in 19 of the 36 states while the PDP was victorious in 17 states and in the capital, Abuja, according to the electoral commission (Inec).

“The new administration will intensify its efforts in security, restructuring the economy and fighting corruption,” Mr Buhari said after his victory was officially announced.

Overall, the APC got 15.2 million votes while the PDP recieved 11.3 million.

Mr Buhari swept the north, while Mr Aububakar did better in the south and east.

Who is Buhari?

A former soldier, Mr Buhari led a military regime for 20 months in the 1980s and was first elected president in 2015, becoming the first opposition candidate to defeat an incumbent and win the presidency.

His record in office is mixed. Mr Buhari’s critics say that the very attributes that won over voters four years ago – his strictness and inflexibility – have emerged as liabilities. They accuse him of autocratic leanings as well as a disastrous tendency towards inaction.

Mr Buhari’s supporters can argue that he has largely delivered on campaign pledges such as tackling corruption and cracking down on Boko Haram. But they may struggle to point to concrete achievements in other fields, such as fixing the economy.

What are the main issues?

Africa’s most populous nation and largest economy faces a range of problems including power shortages, corruption, security threats, and an economic slowdown.

Nigeria is Africa’s leading oil producer but corruption and a failure to invest the proceeds from the industry have hampered development.

A slow recovery from a recession in 2016 means there are not enough jobs for the large number of young people joining the employment market. About a quarter of the working age population is unemployed.

Election in numbers

  • 73 million have voters’ cards
  • 51% of the electorate under the age of 35
  • 73 registered presidential candidates
  • 120,000 polling stations

What is the opposition saying?

Earlier on Tuesday, PDP chair Uche Secondus called the count “incorrect and unacceptable”. The party said counting should be stopped, alleging data from voter card readers had been manipulated.

The federal government accused the PDP of trying to “scuttle the polls” and prompt a constitutional crisis.


Atiku Abubakar’s People’s Democratic Party has rejected the result

Some 130 people have been taken into custody suspected of electoral offences, reports say.

The initial vote was postponed early on 16 February, five hours before polls were due to open. Voters were also choosing members of the House of Representatives and Senate.

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