Buhari Wins Second Term as Nigeria president
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari won a second term to lead the most populous country in Africa, the country’s elections authority said Wednesday, while his main opponent promised to challenge the result in court.
Buhari defeated Atiku Abubakar, a former vice president and businessman, by about 4 million votes.
Turnout was nearly 35 percent of Nigeria’s 82 million registered voters, the electoral commission said.
“I thank the millions of Nigerians who voted to re-elect me as your president for the next four years,” Buhari said in a statement. “I am deeply humbled and profoundly grateful to you for judging me worthy of continuing to serve you and for your peaceful conduct.”
Just hours before it was set to begin on Feb. 16, the electoral authority delayed the vote by a week, citing logistical challenges. Turnout likely fell after many Nigerians took lengthy bus rides across the country to vote in their hometowns, but could not afford to return the following weekend.
On Wednesday, Abubakar called the election results a “sham” and said he would challenge it in court. He accused soldiers in some Nigerian states of turning “their guns on the very citizens they were meant to protect.” He also said it was a “statistical impossibility” that there was higher voter turnout in areas “ravaged by the war” against terrorist groups, like Boko Haram, and there were voting disruptions in his party’s strongholds.