Acclaimed national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has commended Nigerians for choosing to re-elect incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari as the country’s leader for another four years.
He said Nigerians, with the result of the election, chose “victory over defeat, hope over despair, prosperity over poverty,” adding that they have “selected the path toward a greater Nigerian instead of that toward our lesser selves.”
Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had early hours of Wednesday declared that Buhari polled 15, 191, 847 votes to defeat the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Atiku Abubakar, who scored 11, 262, 978 votes in the last Saturday presidential election.
The election recorded deaths of several Nigerians, ballot box snatching and other electoral irregularities.
Consequently, the PDP and its candidate had rejected the result and have vowed to challenge it in court.
But in his congratulatory message to Buhari, Tinubu said the February 23rd presidential election was “a fair and honest exercise that permitted the full expression of the sovereign will of the Nigerian people.”
He said, “For this collective act of courage and enlightened optimism, we can do nothing but express our most profound gratitude and thanks to the millions of APC members and to all Nigerians for their patience, and their commitment to our democratic electoral process.
“With this election, Nigeria signals to the world our unalloyed embrace of democracy and our unflinching determination to perfect this democracy. While this election was free and fair, we also must acknowledge the isolated incidents of violence. Nigerians were killed and injured during what otherwise was an exemplary democratic procession. Such things should never happen and do us no good.
“We must dedicate ourselves to the principle that elections are meant to better all of our lives and thus there is no reason why elections should result in the impairment of even a single life. Let us work even harder to ensure that the March governorship and state assembly elections be devoid of such unfortunate incidents.
“No doubt Nigeria has its challenges, but it stands undaunted as a nation. Nigeria is stronger today under the leadership of President Buhari who continues to lay the critical reforms that constitute the foundation for durable, broadly-shared economic development.
“President Buhari has marked progress against the terror of Boko Haram. In his second term, he will continue to install peace where there is unrest and violence and he will not cease in this task until Boko Haram and its evil brethren are no more.
“He will continue to battle corruption head-on. Given the president’s fortitude and determination, I know corruption will lose this battle and receded from being a major factor in our public arena.
“This current leadership owes our youth and all Nigerians to build a political culture of civility, tolerance and equality.
“The tasks before us are hard. We dare not underestimate the challenges that await, but the rewards that beckon are profound. The people of Nigeria are industrious and brave. The ground beneath us is fecund and it is ours. Our plans are visionary and bold. Our goals are just. And the president you have re-elected is honest and true.
“The confidence I have in this positive confluence of leadership, people, resources and ideas is an unwavering but also a glad and comforting thing. If we put ourselves to it, there is nothing that another nation has done for itself that we cannot achieve for ourselves.
“There is no aspect of national greatness and achievement that lies beyond our reach. Thus, we should look forward to the next four years with hearts filled with hope and hands ready to work. Only God can create the Promised Land. Yet, with God’s help, we endeavour to make of Nigeria a land of greater promise and prosperity for all her children.
“With President Buhari at the helm for four more years, I know we can achieve this. Congratulations to President Buhari on your re-election.”
Tinubu, who commiserated with Nigerians who died during the election, insisted that the exercise represented a historic step forward.
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