The victory of opposition candidate Muhammadu Buhari in Nigerias presidential election could mark a turning point towards genuine democracy for the country, improving the image and moral standing of Africas troubled giant.
Its not the result that we wanted but its a good day for Nigeria if we show the world we can run a credible election, said a minister in Jonathans government, who did not wish to be named because others in the PDP were angry about the result.
Jonathan telephoned Buhari on Tuesday to congratulate him on winning this weekends election, a spokesman for Buharis All Progressives Congress (APC) said.
Now Africas biggest economy, Nigeria has nevertheless been held back by the legacy of three decades of army misrule: a mix of corruption, weak institutions, political, ethnic and religious violence, and a dearth of infrastructure.
Nigeria accounts for about one in six Africans and a fifth of African GDP, giving it huge potential influence on the continent and beyond, but instead for decades it has been a by-word for corruption and chaos.
It ranks 136th out of 174 on Transparency Internationals index of perceived corruption, a problem that affects Nigerian society from top to bottom and cannot be turned around overnight, even by the austere Buhari.