Bola Tinubu, the winner of the 2023 presidential election and a candidate for the All Progressives Congress, has received congratulations from President Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd).
In a statement released on Wednesday by his spokesman Garba Shehu in response to Tinubu’s victory, Buhari said:
“I commend His Excellency Bola Ahmed Tinubu for winning. He was chosen by the people to fill the position. To ensure a smooth transfer of power, I will now work with him and his team.
“The election was the biggest democratic process in Africa. This election serves as evidence of democracy’s ongoing relevance and ability to serve its constituents in a region that has recently experienced backsliding and military coups.
The results in Nigeria demonstrate the maturing of democracy in our nation. Never before has the electoral landscape changed so significantly in a single cycle. States in every region of the country changed color during the presidential election. It’s possible that some of you have noticed that one of them is my home state. Even his home state was not won by the victorious candidate. In a closely contested election, that occurs. We cannot take for granted the right to vote or the people who cast it. You have to earn each one. A healthy democracy needs competition. In the outcomes we see today, there is no doubt that the will of the people has been expressed.
“That does not mean that the exercise was error-free. For instance, there were technical issues with the results’ electronic transmission. There will undoubtedly be some areas that require improvement in order to increase the voting process’s credibility and transparency. However, none of the concerns submitted pose a threat to the elections’ integrity or fairness.
“I am aware that some politicians and candidates may not share my opinion. That’s also okay. Bring the evidence forward if any candidate believes they can substantiate the fraud they allege was committed against them. Even though it may be difficult for the losers to accept, if they are unable to, then we must draw the conclusion that the election did indeed reflect the will of the people. If they feel the need to challenge, please take it to the courts, not to the streets.
To do the latter, however, indicates that they are not acting in the public interest but rather to incite conflict, endanger the lives of others, and further their own selfish interests.
It’s time to unite and take responsibility after the inevitable degree of polarization that comes with every election. All candidates are urged to keep in mind the peace pledge they made just before the election. Don’t cast doubt on INEC’s reliability. Now let’s advance collectively. Everyone has had their say.