Nigeria Opposition Rejects Election Results

Officials say Buhari has won a second term
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 27, 2019 12:07 AM CST
FILE - In this Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019 file photo, Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari speaks to the media after casting his vote in his hometown of Daura, in northern Nigeria.   (AP Photo/Ben Curtis, File)
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(Newser) – Nigeria's president was declared the clear winner of a second term in Africa's largest democracy early Wednesday, after a campaign in which he urged voters to give him another chance to tackle corruption, widespread insecurity, and an economy limping back from a recession. While many frustrated Nigerians had said they wanted to give someone new a try, President Muhammadu Buhari, a former military dictator, profited from his upright reputation in an oil-rich nation weary of politicians enriching themselves instead of the people, the AP reports. Election authorities say he defeated opposition challenger Atiku Abubakar, a billionaire former vice president who made sweeping campaign promises to "make Nigeria work again."

Buhari received 15.1 million votes, or 55%, the electoral commission said in making its official declaration. Abubakar received 11.2 million, or 41%. The election, once described as too close to call, suffered from a surprise weeklong postponement and significant delays in the opening of polling stations. While election observers called the process generally peaceful, at least 53 people were killed in violence including an attack claimed by the Islamic State West Africa Province extremist group, analysis unit SBM Intelligence says. CNN reports that Abubakar's party has rejected the result and demanded new elections in at least four of Nigeria's 36 states. (Last year, Buhari strongly denied being a clone.)

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