Pleased that Nigerians Have Elected New President Peacefully

Photo from recent LWF visit to Nigeria.  Photo: J.Faden/LWF
Photo from recent LWF visit to Nigeria. Photo: J.Faden/LWF

By Felix Samari, Communication Officer, Lutheran Church of Christ in Nigeria

This week’s presidential election in Nigeria was a landmark. Not only did voting run peacefully, but power was handed over peacefully. And today, two days after the official announcement of our new leader, we Nigerians are going about our business in peace.

For that, we wish to thank all our friends all over the world who prayed with us and encouraged us in these trying times.

The March 28 election was contested by 14 aspirants of various political parties but the keen contest was between serving President, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, a Christian southerner from the oil-rich region of Niger-Delta, and retired General Muhammadu Buhari, a Muslim from north-western Katsina state, home of the late former president Umaru Musa Yaradua.  

The election was preceded by hate speech and tension, so much so that many people who lived outside their home regions decided to travel back to be on the safer side in case violence erupted.

Coupled with the impact of the insurgency against Boko Haram, many people predicted the election would end in doom. In February, Boko Haram distributed letters in the north-eastern city of Gombe announcing they would not allow the elections to be held.

In fact, this election was was judged to be the best ever conducted in Nigeria.

At the end of the voting and counting, General Buhari was declared the winner by the Independent National Electoral Commission. General Buhari pulled 15.4m votes while his closest opponent, Goodluck, scored 12.9m.

One great thing Nigerians will not forget in a hurry is that the sitting president doused tension by promptly calling the winner of the election and congratulating him on the victory even before the election results were declared.

After the declaration of the result, President Goodluck went to the media and gave a public broadcast on the outcome of the election. He has been commended for his action.

Following the declaration of the result, young people in some cities in Northern Nigeria took to the street to celebrate the victory at the polls. As a result of these celebrations it is recorded that over 20 people lost their lives in accidents and several others have sustained various injuries.

Today, everywhere is peaceful and the people of Nigeria are going about their normal businesses. This election is a landmark in history of the country.

Again, we wish to thank all our friends all over the world who prayed with us and encouraged us in these trying times.

Related articles:
Lutheran Leader Ekong Affirms Church Role in Consolidating Nigeria’s Democratic Processes
LWF Solidarity Visit to the Lutheran Church of Christ in Nigeria, March 2015
 

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this blog are those of the author, and not necessarily representative of Lutheran World Federation policy.