VICTORY: Nigeria's new president, Muhammadu Buhari
FORMER MILITARY leader Muhammadu Buhari has officially been announced as the President of Nigeria.
People’s Democratic Party (PDP) leader, and current president, Goodluck Jonathan, who has ruled the nation since 2010, has reportedly called up and congratulated his political rival.
BBC Africa tweeted: "President Jonathan concedes defeat, congratulates General Buhari."
Buhari's wife, Aisha Buhari, took to Twitter to congratulate her husband. She said: "I am so proud of my husband and the team who have worked hard to make this happen."
Hours before the announcement, it was reported that Buhari's All Progressives Congress (APC) was ahead by almost three million votes, following the Presidential and National Assembly elections in Nigeria held on Saturday (Mar 28).
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This historic victory for former military ruler Buhari marks the first time in Nigeria's history that an opposition party has democratically taken control of the country from the ruling party.
The 72-year-old built an early lead in northern states dominated by the mainly Muslim, Hausa-Fulani ethnic group of which he is a member.
A spokesperson for APC told The Voice: "This is a historic elections and Nigerians will emerge the winner. This win will signal to the world that ‘irresponsible’ governments will no longer be tolerated."
She continued: "Nigeria, which sets precedents for other countries, will no doubt translate this win as a move toward positive change. Change from the current status quo that has left many unfulfilled promises for the past 16 years.
"The change offered will provide a new Nigeria that will serve everyone for the better."
Buhari, who ruled a military government in the mid-1980s, has run four times for the presidency since 1999.
His chances in the election were boosted by frustration over endemic corruption, criticism over Jonathan’s handling of Boko Haram’s six-year Islamist uprising and a well-organised opposition.
"A united nation where all citizens are made to feel safe, as security will be paramount to our government. The current threat to our nation from Boko Haram will be tackled immediately. We have a leader that will lead from the front," the spokesperson added.
"Change from the current crisis of unemployment to job creation through the revamping of major industry such as Agriculture, mining etc. APC will roll out emergency job plans to tackle the current crisis. There will be 20,000 jobs created in each state to tackle this urgent problem."
The British Prime Minister David Cameron said: "I send my warmest congratulations to General Buhari on being elected as Nigeria's next President.
"This election has been a credit to the Nigerian people and a truly historic moment for Nigerian democracy. The UK remains a steadfast partner for Nigeria as it realises its potential as Africa's economic powerhouse and works to tackle terrorism in the region."