Tuesday, March 31, 2015 4:07 pm
With votes tallied in 34 out of 36 states of Nigeria,following the weekend election, Buhari has won 14,772,454 votes to the 11,616,149 votes won by the incumbent, President Goodluck Jonathan.
Only few state results, one of them from Jonathan’s South South base of Delta state remain to be tallied, but analysts do not foresee Jonathan’s scores of 1.2million votes to change Buhari’s victory.
It was the fourth time Buhari would contest to govern Nigeria. He had failed three times, but his efforts are being crowned at the fourth attempt, 30 years after he was toppled in a military coup in August 1985.
Buhari did well in the North Western states and South Western states of Nigeria, while Jonathan kept tightly to his South South and South East fortress, completely shutting out Buhari, except in Imo, where Buhari scored 133,253 votes to Jonathan’s 559, 185.
Going by the results, both candidates have fulfilled the constitutional requirement of having 25 per cent in two thirds of Nigeria’s 36 states.
But the General from Daura in Katsina state appears poised to beat the incumbent on the plurality of votes.
His expected victory is historic. It is the first time that an opposition candidate would wrest power from an incumbent.
Buhari, who will soon be declared president elect, is the candidate of a coalition of groups that in 2013 fused to become the All Progressives Congress. The new party was made up of Action Congress, with base in western Nigeria, the CPC, in northern Nigeria, a faction of APGA and a breakaway faction of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, who abandoned the PDP because of sharp disagreements with President Goodluck Jonathan, on the handling of the party and Nigeria’s affairs.
Nigeria’s president-elect was born in Daura, Katsina state on 17 December 1942.
After graduation at Government College in Katsina in 1961, Buhari joined the army and rose to become a Major-General. He served as Governor of the North East state, petroleum minister and became Nigeria’s military leader after the 31 December coup that toppled the civilian administration of Shehu Shagari.
In August 1985, Buhari was toppled in another coup led by General Ibrahim Babangida.
In retirement, he served as chairman of the Petroleum Trust Fund under the Abacha regime.
When Nigeria, returned to civil rule in 1999, General Buhari offered himself for service thrice before now, but he was rejected at the polls.
The man with a reputation for anti-corruption and discpline and a near ascetic life has finally got his mission fulfilled.