Nigeria's Buhari to 'spare no effort' in fighting Boko Haram

Muhammadu Buhari said in tackling the Boko Hrama insurgency, they had a tough and urgent job to do.

FILE: Nigerians voted in their presidential election on 28 March 2015. Picture: Samson Omale/EWN.

LAGOS - Nigeria's newly-elected President Muhammadu Buhari said on Wednesday his government would "spare no effort" to defeat Islamist militant group Boko Haram.

" Boko Haram will soon know the strength of our collective will. We should spare no effort," Buhari said in his first formal speech since winning the election.

"In tackling the insurgency, we have a tough and urgent job to do."

Buhari won the Nigerian election with 15,4 million votes against Goodluck Jonathan's 13,3 million.

Jonathan's Peoples Democratic Party has been in power since 1999.

Earlier, Buhari congratulated outgoing Jonathan for peacefully relinquishing power on Wednesday, a day after becoming the first Nigerian politician to unseat a sitting leader at the ballot box.

In an unprecedented step, Jonathan phoned Buhari to concede defeat and issued a statement urging his supporters to accept the result, a signal of deepening democracy in Africa's most populous nation that few had expected.

"President Jonathan was a worthy opponent and I extend the hand of fellowship to him," Buhari told journalists and supporters to loud applause, wearing a black cap and kaftan.

"We have proven to the world that we are people who have embraced democracy. We have put one-party state behind us."

The 72-year-old general, who first came to power three decades ago via a military coup, campaigned as a born-again democrat intent on cleaning up the corrupt politics of Africa's most populous nation.

The rules state he must officially hand over on 29 May.

Jonathan's People's Democratic Party (PDP) has been in charge since the end of army rule in 1999 but had been losing support due to several oil sector corruption scandals and killings by Islamist militants in the northeast.

Buhari now has his work cut out keeping his promises, as a tough military man, to defeat the insurgency of the Islamist terror group.