WATCH Buhari's reaction the moment he was declared winner of Presidential Election

Watch Buhari's reaction the moment he was declared winner of the election by the electoral commission.

President Muhammadu Buhari of the APC wins presidential election (APC campaign)

President Muhammadu Buhari exuded calm and displayed no discernible emotion when the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu, declared him winner of the February 23, 2019 presidential vote.

Buhari of the governing All Progressives Congress (APC) defeated his major challenger, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) with a vote differential of 3,928,869.

Buhari polled 15, 191,847 votes to Atiku’s 11,262,978 tally.

At about 4:35am of Wednesday, February 27, 2019, electoral commission boss, Yakubu, officially declared Buhari winner of the election, hours after the media had called the vote for the incumbent.

 “Having secured the highest number of votes (Buhari) is hereby declared winner and is returned elected”, Yakubu said as Buhari watched passively from a pristine sofa in his apartment.

Atiku hasn’t called to congratulate Buhari at the time of writing.

PDP rejects outcome of election

Atiku’s party, the PDP, has rejected the vote, citing irregularities and non-usage of the smart card readers for accreditation of voters during the election.

Osita Chidoka, a member of the Atiku campaign organization, says about 5.1 million voters did not use the card reader, a claim the electoral boss rejected at the Collation Centre venue of the vote count.

“We have evidence from the smart card reader accreditation data that what is being announced by INEC has been seriously tampered with and manipulated”, said Barr. Tanimu Turaki, Deputy Director General of the PDP Presidential Campaign Organization, halfway into the vote counting process on Tuesday, February 26.

“In the meantime, we demand the immediate and outright cancellation of presidential election results in Yobe, Zamfara, Nasarawa and Borno states as submitted by INEC presiding officers and ask for the conduct of fresh elections in these states", he added.

Buhari reacts to victory

The vote counting process was a glacial speed, tedious affair that lasted three days, punctuated by delays from state electoral officers who appeared unprepared for the exercise.

A victorious President Buhari stormed the APC campaign headquarters moments after he had been declared winner, to cheers and adulation from a band of supporters and campaign staff.

“I will like to make a special appeal to my supporters not to gloat or humiliate the opposition. Victory is enough reward for your efforts”, Buhari said.

He added that his administration “will intensify its efforts in security, restructuring the economy and fighting corruption. We have laid down the foundation and we are committed to seeing matters to the end. We will strive to strengthen our unity and inclusiveness so that no section or group will feel left behind or left out”.

The February 23 vote was Buhari’s 5th presidential run after failed attempts in 2003, 2007 and 2011. 

A former military president in the 1980s, Buhari battled an ailment for most of his first term and was even rumoured to have been replaced by a clone after one medical vacation that lasted weeks. 

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