Nigeria election: Muhammadu Buhari hails ‘vote for change’

The winner of Nigeria’s presidential poll, Muhammadu Buhari, has hailed his victory as a vote for change and proof the nation has embraced democracy.
Mr Buhari also praised outgoing President Goodluck Jonathan as a “worthy opponent” who peacefully relinquished power.
Gen Buhari beat Mr Jonathan by 15.4 million votes to 13.3 million.
Observers have generally praised the election, though there have been allegations of fraud.
Election results as they happened
Mr Buhari, of the All Progressives Congress (APC) party, has become the first opposition candidate to win a presidential election in Nigeria.
The former military ruler said: “President Jonathan was a worthy opponent and I extend the hand of fellowship to him.
“We have proven to the world that we are people who have embraced democracy. We have put the one-party state behind us.”
Analysis: BBC’s Will Ross in Lagos
This is a hugely significant moment in Nigeria’s turbulent history. Never before has a sitting president been defeated in an election.
Since independence from Britain in 1960, there have been numerous coups and although the 2011 vote was an improvement, most elections have been rigged or even annulled by the military.
Of course in a relatively close election, there will be millions of people who are not pleased with the outcome. But the whole process is a sign that democracy is deepening in Nigeria and may be a tonic to other countries in Africa.
Nigerians can start to believe that it is possible to remove politicians through the ballot box.
Historic moment for Nigeria
He added: “Your vote affirms that you believe Nigeria’s future can be better than what it is today. You voted for change and now change has come.
“You, Nigerians, have won. The people have shown their love for this nation and their belief in democracy.”
On Tuesday, Mr Jonathan said in a statement: “I promised the country free and fair elections. I have kept my word.”

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