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Nigerians vote out a sitting government for the first time

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan conceded defeat to Muhammadu Buhari, who won the election by at least 2 million votes. Buhari came to power in a military coup 30 years ago, but says he is now an advocate of democracy and that he will use his experience to stamp out Boko Haram. While Buhari supporters are celebrating, both sides are watching for post-election violence. Jeffrey Brown reports.

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    Longtime Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan conceded defeat today in his reelection bid in Africa's richest and most populous nation. He lost by at least two million votes to challenger Muhammadu Buhari.

    Jeffrey Brown reports.


    Supporters of Buhari celebrated in the northern city of Kaduna, an opposition stronghold, as word of the results spread.

  • WOMAN (through interpreter):

    I am out because I am happy about the change of government.


    The winner, a Muslim and former military ruler, swept the Muslim north. Crucially, he also scored well in states across Southern Nigeria, where Christians predominate and Jonathan had his power base.

    The outcome stunned the ruling party, and one of its officials even disrupted the electoral commission's proceedings, charging, "We have lost confidence in you."

    But for Buhari's All Progressives Congress party, the results were momentous.

  • LAI MOHAMMED, All Progressives Congress Spokesman:

    We are all happy because we are witnessing history, history in the sense that this is the first time in Nigeria that a sitting government would be voted out of power using purely democratic means.


    Buhari initially came to power in a military coup 30 years ago, but says he became an advocate of democracy after civilian rule returned to Nigeria in 1999. He says he will draw on his past experience to stamp out the violent Boko Haram militants.

  • MUHAMMADU BUHARI, Nigerian President-Elect:

    With my background as a military man, I think we have to quickly restore the morale of the Nigerian military and the reinforcement agencies by certainly getting weapons, retraining, and reorganization.

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