Nigerian opposition leader rejects Buhari’s election victory


Nigeria’s opposition leader has rejected a claim by the incumbent, Muhammadu Buhari, that he won the presidential election, denouncing the poll as a “sham” and vowing to mount a legal challenge. Hours after the president was announced the winner of Saturday’s delayedelection, Atiku Abubakar said that the reason he had not called Buhari to congratulate him was because he had “never seen our democracy so debased”.

Atiku – the former vice-president and wealthy businessman is known countrywide by his first name – said there had been “manifest and premeditated malpractices in many states”. He compared the election unfavourably with that of 2007, widely considered the worst in Nigeria’s history, in which Buhari was runner-up and Abubakar came a distant third.  According to the country’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the People’s Democratic party (PDP) candidate scored 11,262,978 votes to finish second after Buhari of the All Progressives’ Congress (APC), whose 15,191,847 votes secured his reelection for a second term in office. The elections, Nigeria’s sixth since its return to democracy in 1999, were seen as a referendum on the presidency of Buhari, the tough-talking former general who was also a military head of state in the 1980s. Despite seeming unpopular with large sections of the population, Buhari managed to retain most of his base and do well in opposition strongholds.(theguardian)…[+]