Wednesday 01 April 2015 00.00
Nigeria's Goodluck Jonathan has publicly conceded defeat in the presidential election to Muhammadu Buhari, expressing his gratitude for the opportunity to lead the nation.
"I thank all Nigerians once again for the great opportunity I was given to lead this country and assure you that I will continue to do my best at the helm of national affairs until the end of my tenure," he said in a statement.
"I have conveyed my personal best wishes to General Muhammadu Buhari."
Jonathan also urged his supporters to follow "due process" in channelling their frustrations at losing the election, trying to pour cold water on any potential post-vote violence.
"Nobody's ambition is worth the blood of any Nigerian," he said in a statement issued after his election defeat.
"The unity, stability and progress of our dear country is more important than anything else."
Jonathan also said he had held true to his pledge of free and fair elections.
"I promised the country free and fair elections. I have kept my word," the 57-year-old said in a statement after the final results were announced with Buhari some 2.5 million votes ahead.
Jonathan urged disputes over the results to be settled in court, adding: "Nobody's ambition is worth the blood of any Nigerian. The unity, stability and progress of our dear country is more important than anything else."
Earlier, Mr Buhari said that he was "very confident" of an election win, as the final results of a tense political campaign came in.
Asked if he was confident of having won after his All Progressive Congress (APC) claimed victory, he said: "I am very confident, thank you very much."
Lai Mohammed, a spokesperson for the APC party said: "This is the first time in Nigeria that a sitting government will be voted out of power using purely democratic means"
"The people of Nigeria have taken over."
Mr Buhari, a former army general, ruled between 1983 and 1985 after seizing power in a coup.
Ousted in another military takeover in August 1985, he declared himself a convert to democracy and has since run and lost in several previous elections.
Mr Jonathan's five years at the helm of Africa's most populous country and biggest economy have been plagued by corruption scandals and a Boko Haram Islamist insurgency.
His People's Democratic Party (PDP) has run Nigeria since the end of military rule in 1999.