Today, Nigeria’s president, Goodluck Jonathan has conceded defeat to his major opposition candidate, Retired General Muhammadu Buhari in a heated presidential election held Saturday, March 28, 2015. Jonathan of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) had faced severe opposition from Buhari, flag bearer of the All Progressives Congress (APC). Buhari is an ex-dictator who seized power in a 1983 coup only to be ousted 18 months later by his subordinates in the cabinet. Since then, Buhari has been running and losing several elections until the fourth attempt that earned him this victory.
Amidst ballot irregularities, most of them yet to be contested, President Jonathan had called General Muhammadu Buhari, to congratulate him,” our newsroom had gathered. “I thank all Nigerians once again for the great opportunity I was given to lead this country and assure you that I will continue to do my best at the helm of national affairs until the end of my tenure,” he said in a statement. Jonathan also indicated, “I have conveyed my personal best wishes to General Muhammadu Buhari.”
President Jonathan’s concession statement has been received with mixed feelings, especially among his party members still displeased with a recorded massive election fraud in the Northern geographical zones where Buhari recorded outrageous votes. However, President Jonathan, striving to avoid the repeat of a past election violence in 2011 that claimed more than 800 lives, urged his supporters to follow “due process” in channeling their frustrations. “Nobody’s ambition is worth the blood of any Nigerian. The unity, stability and progress of our dear country is more important than anything else.” he said in a statement issued after his election defeat.
It may be recalled that last week, President Jonathan and Buhari signed a non-violence pact, seeking to avoid a repeat of previous elections mayhems. President Jonathan indicated, “I promised the country free and fair elections. I have kept my word.”