The opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) has declared victory for its candidate, Muhammadu Buhari in Nigeria’s bitterly contested presidential election in a vote marred by confusion, arguments and violence.
Victory for former military ruler Buhari would mark the first time in Nigeria’s history that an opposition party has democratically taken control of the country from the ruling party.
The spokesman for the APC, Lai Mohammed, told the AFP news agency that his party had declared victory after pulling ahead in the votes.
“This is the first time the opposition has voted a government out of power in Nigeria’s history,” he said.
Asked if he was confident of having won after the APC claimed victory, Buhari said “I am very confident.”
With just one of 36 states left to declare, Buhari’s APC had 15.1 million votes versus 11.7 for Jonathan and the PDP, according to a Reuters news agency tally.
Al Jazeera’s Yvonne Ndege, reporting from the capital Abuja, said the election commission was still to make a definitive announcement.
To win the election, Buhari needed to win more than 50 percent of the total votes nationally – and take at least 25 percent of the vote in two thirds of the states.
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.
Incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan, whose five years in office have been plagued by corruption scandals and an insurgency by Boko Haram fighters, was trailing by around 500,000 votes before votes in pro-opposition areas were counted.
Source: Al Jazeera