President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC) was declared the winner of the 2019 presidential election, defeating his closest rival, Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) with a margin of about 3.9 million votes.
The president’s re-election has drawn widespread reactions from Nigerians and non-Nigerians who are keenly following the political developments in the country.
Legit.ng highlights some of the reactions to President Buhari’s re-election by some international media platforms.
With a piece headlined “Muhammadu Buhari wins Nigerian election with 56% of the vote”, The UK Guardian writes about President Buhari’s victory and some facts and figures about the 2019 presidential election.
"Nigeria’s president Muhammadu Buhari has been declared the winner of the country’s election after results showed that he claimed 56% of the vote.
“With ballots from all 36 states counted, Buhari’s All Progressives Congress (APC) garnered 15.2m votes compared with 11.3 m for Atiku Abubakar’s People’s Democratic party. The election turnout was 35.6% the electoral commission said, which compared with 44% in the 2015 presidential election,” the UK based newspaper writes.
The BBC also has a piece about President Buhari’s re-election. Titled ‘Nigeria election: Muhammadu Buhari re-elected as president’, the UK media includes the reaction of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to Buhari’s re-election.
The PDP, whose candidate Atiku Abubakar came second with over 11 million votes has rejected the result.
BBC also says that the voters turnout was 35%, adding that “delays and violence marred the run-up to Saturday's poll but no independent observer has cited electoral fraud”.
The Washington Times in its own piece about Nigeria’s 2019 elections highlights some factors that made President Buhari’s re-election bid successful.
In the article titled “Nigerian president wins second term after delayed election”, the American news media says: "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 news media also indicates the opposition PDP’s reaction to President Buhari’s victory.
“In a failed last-ditch effort to stop the official declaration, Abubakar’s party claimed that election data had been manipulated and demanded fresh elections in four of Nigeria’s 36 states,” the paper writes.
The New York Times in its own piece says the 2019 presidential election in Nigeria was a referendum on honesty. The American media says “…Muhammadu Buhari had won a second term as president of Africa’s most populous country, where voters rejected a corruption-stained candidate in favour of a leader who promised to continue a campaign to eliminate graft.”
Writing on the conduct of the election, the newspaper writes: “Local civil society groups had ticked off lists of irregularities during the voting, and Mr Abubakar rejected the vote in some states. At one point his party demanded a halt to the counting. Some international observers had indicated earlier in the week that the problems likely hadn’t been widespread enough to sway the outcome.
“But violence did punctuate the voting on Saturday, and civil society groups decried the deaths of at least 39 people killed across several states. One of the victims was a young election worker struck by a stray bullet.”
The Economist in its own report says that even though Atiku is"is challenging the result, but it seems the president will get a second chance to improve the country".
The news media says, however, that the "election has been tarnished by the sloppiness with which it was run".
"The vote was originally scheduled for February 16th, but the INEC postponed it just hours before it was meant to begin because it had been unable to get materials, such as ballot papers and voter-card readers, to polling stations on time.
"When the vote was finally held on February 23rd, observers say most polling stations opened hours late, for the same reason, and that many election officials seemed confused about voting-day procedures. The European Union’s observer mission says that “serious operational shortcomings reduced confidence in the process and put undue burden on voters,” The Economist writes.
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Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that the PDP urged Nigerians to remain peaceful in response to INEC’s declaration which named President Buhari of the APC as the winner of the presidential election.
A former aviation minister, Osita Chidoka, who served as an agent of the PDP at the collation centre in Abuja, noted that his party was committed to democracy and would explore lawful means to resolve issues.
“The PDP remains a very lawful party, we believe in the law, we believe in the constitution of Nigeria, we are committed to democracy. But we have a good message for Nigerians, we want them to remain peaceful, we will explore all our options, including the belief that the legal process in Nigeria is one of the way to resolve issues,” Chidoka said after the final announcement by INEC was made.
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2019 Election: Presidential candidate, party leaders react to announced results| Legit TV