Buhari claims victory in historic Nigerian vote

With just one of 36 states left to declare, Buhari’s APC had 15.1 million votes versus 11.7 for Jonathan and the PDP, according to a Reuters tally.

To match Interview NIGERIA-BUHARI/(Reuters) – Nigeria’s opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) declared an election victory on Tuesday for former military ruler 72 year-old Muhammadu Buhari and said Africa’s most populous nation was witnessing history with its first democratic transfer of power.

“The people of Nigeria have taken over,” an ecstatic APC spokesman Lai Mohammed told Reuters at the house in the capital where Buhari, a sandal-wearing Muslim ascetic watching the results on television.

“This is the first time in Nigeria that a sitting government will be voted out of power using purely democratic means.”

The count showed Buhari steamrolling to a landslide against President Goodluck Jonathan, whose People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has made no comment since the scale of the political earthquake in Nigeria — Africa’s biggest economy and top oil producer — has become apparent.

With just one of 36 states left to declare, Buhari’s APC had 15.1 million votes versus 11.7 for Jonathan and the PDP, according to a Reuters tally.

Mohammed said there was no reason to doubt Jonathan would concede, in line with a ‘peace accord’ he signed with Buhari before this weekend’s vote to allay fears of violence.

Around 800 people were killed in three days of bloodletting in the mainly Muslim north after a Buhari defeat to Jonathan in 2011.

“He said several times that he would relinquish power if he was voted out in a free and fair election,” Mohammed said.

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