The Independent National Electoral Commission declared him winner of the 2015 presidential election at exactly…on Tuesday after two days of collation of the results from states in Abuja.
He polled 15,424,921 to defeat incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan, who scored 12,853,162 votes.
As of Monday when INEC began the collation and announcement of the results at the National Collation Centre for the President Election located at the International Conference Centre, in Abuja, Buhari had won 10 states with 8,520, 436 votes. Jonathan recorded victory in eight states and the Federal Capital Territory with 6,488,210 votes.
When the collation resumed and progressed on Tuesday, signs that the Katsina State-born former Head of State, who had previously taken a shot at the Presidency thrice, would win the election became clearer.
Buhari had contested presidential elections in 2003, 2007 and 2011, but lost to the Peoples Democratic Party candidates (Olusegun Obasanjo, Umaru Yar’Adua and Jonathan).
Before Jega drew the curtains on the exercise, Jonathan called Buhari on the telephone to congratulate him.
According to the result announced by INEC, Buhari won five out of the six states in the South-West while Jonathan emerged victorious in one.
At the end of the exercise on Wednesday morning, Buhari won 21 states and Jonathan 15 plus the FCT.
In Lagos State, the APC presidential candidate got 792,460 votes, while his PDP counterpart garnered 632,327 votes.
Buhari polled 308,290 votes in Ogun State while Jonathan had 207,950 . In Oyo State, the former Head of State got 528,620 and the President received 303,376 votes.
The president-elect also won Osun State with 383,603 to defeat Jonathan, who had 249,929. Jonathan lost Ondo, a PDP state, to the president-elect. Buhari polled 299,889 votes, while the President got 251,368 .
But the President won in Ekiti State, where he got 176,466 votes to defeat Buhari, who received 120,331.
The incoming president emerged victorious in all the seven states in the North-West. In Sokoto State, he had 671,926 votes; Zamfara, 612,202; Kano, 1,903,999; and Jigawa, 885,988.
In Katsina, his home state, Buhari got 1,345,441; 1,127,760 in Kaduna and 567,883 in Kebbi.
Jonathan secured 152,199 votes in Sokoto; 144,833 in Zamfara; 215,779 in Kano; 142,904 in Jigawa; 98,937 in Katsina; 100,972 in Kebbi and 484,085 in Kaduna.
Buhari defeated Jonathan in five of the six states in the North-East, where he polled 473,543 votes in Borno; 374,701 in Adamawa; 931,598 in Bauchi; 361,245 in Gombe and 446,265 in Yobe.
The incoming president, however, lost Taraba by scoring 261,326 votes as against the President’s 310,800 .
Jonathan received 25,640 votes in Borno; 251,664 in Adamawa; 86,085 in Bauchi; 25,526 in Yobe; and 96,873 in Gombe.
Also, Buhari won four out of the six states in the North-Central. In Benue State, he polled 373,961 votes; 264,851 in Kogi; 302,146 in Kwara and 657,678 votes in Niger.
He was defeated in Plateau State, where he had 429,140 votes and Nasarawa, where he narrowly lost to Jonathan, who secured 273,460 votes while he received 236,838 votes.
In the zone, the outgoing president also won in Plateau State, where he had 549,615 votes.
But he lost the four remaining states, including Kogi, where he garnered 149,987 votes; Kwara, 132,602 votes; Niger, 149, 222 votes and Benue, 303,737 votes.
Buhari was unable to defeat Jonathan in the latter’s strongholds of South-South and South-East.
In the South-South, Jonathan polled 953,304 votes in Akwa Ibom, while Buhari received 58,411 votes. In Bayelsa State, the President got 361,209 votes while the president-elect had 5,194 votes.
In Delta State, Jonathan garnered 1,211,405 votes while the incoming President received 48,910 votes. The President got 286,869 votes in Edo State and Buhari had 208,469 votes.
In Cross River State, the outgoing President had 414,863 votes, while the incoming President received 28,368 votes. Jonathan got 1,487,075 votes in Rivers State to defeat Buhari, who received 69,238 votes.
Buhari also suffered defeat in the five South-East states. In Anambra, Jonathan polled 660,762 votes, while the President- elect got 17, 926 votes.
In Abia State, the outgoing President had 368,303 votes while the APC presidential candidate received 13,394 votes.
Buhari secured 19,518 votes in Ebonyi State where Jonathan polled 323, 653 votes. In Enugu State, the President had 553,003 votes, while the President-elect received 14,157 votes.
Soldiers become unfriendly
Soldiers, who were guarding the National Collation Centre, suddenly became hostile when the last result from Borno State was about to be released.
After the announcement of the Delta State result at 6pm, Jega had said the last result would be made known at 8pm.
Soldiers at the gate of the venue threatened to shoot journalists, including PUNCH photojournalist, Olatunji Obasa, who had gone out for break.
He was barred from re-entering the collation centre.
Jonathan congratulates Buhari
At about 5.15pm on Tuesday when the last results were being read, Jonathan congratulated Buhari for his victory.
A former Head of State, Gen. Abdusalami Abubakar, who made this known, commended the President for his sportsmanship.
Abubakar spoke with State House correspondents shortly after leading members of the National Peace Committee for the 2015 General Elections to a closed-door meeting with Jonathan at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
While saying that they were in the Villa to thank Jonathan for his statesmanship, the former military leader urged all stakeholders to emulate his (Jonathan) sportsmanship.
He said, “We are here to ensure peace is maintained at this moment. We thank Nigerians and all members of the international community who came to support us during the elections.
“The elections have been very peaceful despite the hitches here and there. At the end of the elections, at the counting, there are a lot of upheavals that have happened but thankfully they have been contained.
“We were at the middle of a meeting with the international observers to try to see how we can still water the tension down when gladly I called Gen. Buhari that we are going to see him, he told me that Mr. President has called him at about 5:15 p.m. and congratulated him and conceded defeat.
“We were spellbound and the reason we have come here is to thank President Jonathan for this statesmanship.
“In the history of Nigeria, I think this is the first time where a contestant has called his rival to congratulate him and through this point, President Jonathan maintained a point that the blood of Nigerians is not worth his Presidency and by his action he has proved that.
“He has proved that he is a man of his word because during our interaction on this peace committee, he has always maintained that he is going to accept the result of the election whichever way it is done. And he has proved this.”
Abubakar urged all Nigerians to join hands and assist the President in peaceful handing over.
He said all politicians, those who are celebrating and those who are sorrowing, should give peace a chance.
The former Head of State said, “In any contest, there is always going to be a winner and President Jonathan has accepted that he lost and we want to thank him on behalf of Nigerians.
“I want to thank President Jonathan for being the statesman that he is, he has proved that he is a statesman and he has the love of this country in his heart. So Nigerians should please help him to ensure this is real.
“For any Nigerian who is aggrieved, the electoral law has procedures seeking redress, so if anybody has any grievance, he should apply through the law.
“I appeal again to our youths, to everybody to please give peace a chance and accept that the chief contestant himself has accepted.”
Jonathan also met with the leadership of the National Peace Committee for the 2015 General Elections led by a former Head of State, Gen. Abdusalami Abdusalami .
Others at the meeting included the Primate of the Church of Nigeria(Anglican Communion), Most Rev. Nicholas Okoh; the Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, Onayeikan; and a former President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Priscilla Kuye.
The PUNCH also gathered that while the announcement of the results was ongoing, some ministers and presidential aides trooped into the Villa to consult with Jonathan when it became clear to them that the election had been won and lost.
The PDP chiefs led by the national chairman, Adamu Mu’azu, were also said to have met with the President on the outcome of the election.