President Goodluck Jonathan of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has lost the 2015 presidential elections to the All Progressive Congress, APC, candidate, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari following results released by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC. This has, however, make him Nigeria’s first sitting president to be voted out of office.
The elections, which took place over the weekend, was Nigeria’s most keenly contested since the country’s return to democracy in 1999.
Gooluck Jonathan is also the first elected president to serve a single term. He has been president for six years, acted for two years in place of the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua.
Jonathan’s tenure has been marred with issues of corruption, the most prominent being the alleged $20 billion unremmitted revenue by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC into the country’s coffers.
He also failed to act quickly to curtail the Boko Haram insurgency that plagued the Northeast during a greater part of his administration.
In contrast, the incoming president, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari is known to be a disciplinarian and an anti-corruption crusader. His short-lived reign as a military head of state, after overthrowning the democratic government of Shehu Shagari, was smeared by issues relating to media stifling and excessive use of fear to drive socio-economic policies.
Jonathan did not just make history as the first incumbent president to be voted out of office, but also has made history as the first Nigerian leader to gracefully accept defeat.
He was said to have reportedly called Buhari after 35 states had been announced and it was apparent that the former head of state was coasting to victory.
Nigerians have, howver, commended his effort as part of the characteristics of a true leader.