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Muhammadu Buhari Re-elected as Nigerian President, Rival Plans Legal Challenge

buja: President Muhammadu Buhari has won a second term in Nigeria, the election board said on Wednesday, but his main rival planned a fraud challenge after a vote marred by delays, logistical glitches and scores of deaths.

More than 260 people were killed since the start of the campaign in October, 47 of them during Saturday’s vote and its aftermath, according to one monitoring group.

Buhari, a 76-year-old former military ruler took 56 percent of votes against 41 for his main rival, businessman and former vice president Atiku Abubakar of the People’s Democratic Party.

The incumbent has a daunting to-do list, including reviving an economy still struggling to recover from a 2016 recession and quelling a decade-old Islamist insurgency that has killed thousands in the northeast, many of them civilians.

“The new administration will intensify its efforts in security, restructuring the economy and fighting corruption,” he told celebrating supporters at the campaign headquarters of his All Progressive Congress party in the capital Abuja.

The president garnered 15.2 million votes to Atiku’s 11.3 million, on turnout of just 35.6 percent, the electoral commission said. That compared with 44 percent turnout in 2015.

While Buhari urged supporters not to gloat or “humiliate” the opposition, Atiku said the election was rigged.

“It is clear that there were manifest and premeditated malpractices in many states which negate the results announced,” he said. “I hereby reject the result of the February 23, 2019, sham election and will be challenging it in court.”

One obvious red flag was that states in the northeast ravaged by insurgents’ attacks generated much higher voter turnouts than peaceful states, Atiku said.

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