(CNN)Incumbent Goodluck Jonathan phoned former military leader Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday to concede defeat in Nigeria’s presidential elections, Buhari’s party says.
All Progressives Congress party spokesman Garba Shehu confirmed Jonathan had made the call.
The Independent National Electoral Commission is still announcing the final tally in the polls, but early numbers indicate Buhari, now the President-elect, has an overwhelming majority of votes.
Buhari ruled Nigeria from late 1983 until August 1985 after ousting his predecessor in a coup.
I am so proud of my husband and the team who have worked hard to make this happen.
— Aisha Buhari (@IamAishaBuhari) March 31, 2015
His 20-month rule was known for what he described as a “war on indiscipline,” a tough regime that some say was marred by human rights abuses.
The 72-year-old retired major general’s experience as a military ruler has variably been viewed as a plus or minus in present-day Nigeria, where the government has been locked in a deadly battle with the militant group Boko Haram.
His campaign has focused on security and ending corruption in Nigeria.
Violent protests after Nigeria’s presidential elections Saturday sparked calls for calm from the two main candidates and a warning by the United States and Britain against political interference.
Demonstrators fired gunshots and torched a local electoral office in Nigeria’s oil-rich Rivers state on Sunday as they marched to protest the elections amid claims of vote-rigging and voter intimidation.
After the protests in Rivers, Buhari’s All Progressives Congress demanded the elections there be canceled. “There’s been so much violence in Rivers state that it’s just not tenable,” party spokesman Lai Mohammed said.
But the People’s Democratic Party disputed the accusation, saying the election was “credible and the result reflects the overwhelming wish of the people of Rivers state to support President Goodluck Jonathan.”
“We do not believe the allegations are substantial enough to require the cancellation/rescheduling of the elections in Rivers”- Jega
— INEC Nigeria (@inecnigeria) March 31, 2015
Both candidates took to social media to call for calm.
“I want to urge all Nigerians to also wait patiently for the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to collate and announce results,” Jonathan said on his Facebook account.
“Fellow Nigerians, I urge you to exercise patience and vigilance as we wait for all results to be announced,” Buhari said on Twitter.
More than 800 people were killed in post-election violence across Nigeria’s north in 2011 after charges that those elections were illegitimate.
Nigeria’s vote had been scheduled for February 14, but on February 7, Nigeria’s election commission announced it would be postponed for six weeks because of security concerns, with the military needing more time to secure areas controlled by Boko Haram. The controversial decision was unpopular among many Nigerians and led to widespread protests.
Jonathan has been criticized for not doing enough to combat Boko Haram, which is waging a campaign of terror aimed at instituting a stricter version of Sharia law in Nigeria.
On Saturday, residents in the northeastern state of Gombe said at least 11 people were killed and two more injured in attacks at polling stations, apparently by Boko Haram extremists.