ABUJA, Nigeria — President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria won a second term in an election in Africa’s most populous country, where voters rejected a corruption-stained candidate in favor of a leader who promised to continue a campaign to eliminate graft.

Not long after midnight Wednesday, election officials finished counting the votes, making it apparent that Buhari had defeated the leading candidate, Atiku Abubakar, by a wide margin in an election that was marred by pockets of violence.

Local civil society groups had ticked off lists of irregularities during the voting on Saturday, but other international observers had indicated earlier in the week that the problems likely hadn’t been widespread enough to sway the outcome.


Abubakar’s camp accused Buhari’s party of tampering with vote card readers and rejected the count in some states. At one point on Tuesday night, Abubakar’s party demanded a halt to the vote count.

Civil society groups said at least 39 people were killed on Election Day across several states.

One of the victims was a young election worker who was struck by a stray bullet.

Nigeria’s election was in many ways a referendum on honesty, as voters once again embraced a candidate who held up a broom at rallies, pledging to sweep away the graft that has given the nation a bad reputation worldwide.

Critics, however, say he targeted political opponents in his antigraft inquiries.

New York Times