President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, Senate President Ahmad Lawan and Speaker of the House of Representatives Femi Gbajabiamila yesterday congratulated Asiwaju Bola Tinubu for emerging winner of the February 25 presidential election.
Tinunu was also congratulated by former Military President Ibrahim Babangida; Deputy Speaker of the House Ahmed Idris Wase, Deputy Whip of the Senate, Aliyu Abdullahi, the Federal Executive Council (FEC), the Senate, the All Progressives Congress(APC), United Kingdom (UK) French President Emmanuel Macron and Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
While Buhari said the presidential poll reflected the will of Nigerians, Osinbajo said Tinubu’s victory was a reward for his “consistent fidelity to progressive and welfarist ideals.”
To Lawan, the victory affirmed the trust of Nigerians in the APC and to Gbajabiamila, it was a testament to Tinubu’s years of building bridges across the country.
Buhari, in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said Tinubu’s victory indicated that he was the choice of Nigerians to take them to the next level.
He noted that the electoral process, this time round, was particularly unique because neither Tinubu nor himself won their home states.
The development, according to him, is an indication that Nigeria’s democracy is ripening.
Buhari said: “I congratulate His Excellency Bola Ahmed Tinubu on his victory. Elected by the people, he is the best person for the job. I shall now work with him and his team to ensure an orderly handover of power.
“The results reveal democracy’s ripening in our country. Never has the electoral map shifted so drastically in one cycle. In the presidential elections, states in all regions across the nation changed colour. Some of you may have noticed my home state among them.
“The winning candidate did not carry his own home state either. That happens during a competitive election. Votes and those that cast them cannot be taken for granted. Each must be earned. Competition is good for our democracy. There is no doubt the people’s decision has been rendered in the results we look at today.
“That is not to say the exercise was without fault. For instance, there were technical problems with the electronic transmission of the results. Of course, there will be areas that need work to bring further transparency and credibility to the voting procedure. However, none of the issues registered represents a challenge to the freeness and fairness of the elections.
The President, however, called on all candidates who participated in the election process to keep faith with the peace agreement they signed days ahead of the elections and to refrain from any action capable of undermining the democratic process.
“I know some politicians and candidates may not agree with this view. That too is fine. If any candidate believes they can prove the fraud they claim is committed against them, then bring forward the evidence. If they cannot, then we must conclude that the election was indeed the people’s will – no matter how hard that may be for the losers to accept. If they feel the need to challenge, please take it to the courts, not to the streets,” Buhari added.
In his congratulatory message, Osinbajo said” “In your (Tinunu) previous years of public service, you have demonstrated a consistent fidelity to progressive and welfarist ideals, and an ability to build bridges across several divides.
“These attributes are needed especially at this time, to reach out to disaffected sections of our society and to meet the aspirational expectations of our young people who have shown such a strong desire to impact our democratic process in a positive way.
“I trust that they will not allow whatever setbacks they may have experienced to truncate their strong desire to determine the future course of our national journey.
“Through thick and thin, we must all remain focused on the objective of birthing the Nigeria of our dreams.
The Vice-President, who also sent a congratulatory to Vice-President-elect Kashim Shettima, prayed to God to help the newly elected leaders “fulfil the progressive mandate of our Party, as well as your various plans to improve the security, welfare and happiness of all Nigerians.”
Osinbajo had after presiding over the weekly Federal Executive Council(FEC) led ministers to physically congratulate the President-elect, his wife, Senator Oluremi Tinubu and Shettima.
Later, the Vice President attended the formal presentation of the Certificates of Return to Tinubu and Shettima by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Lawan, who said that the election was hard-fought, added that the victory would be savoured for a long time by the APC, its supporters and all lovers of democracy.
“This victory affirms the trust of the Nigerian people in our great party, the APC and its candidates. However, it is also a challenge to us to continue the progressive development of our dear nation, Nigeria, in line with the agenda of our party,” he said.
Lawan promised that the Senate would cooperate with the President-elect in the transition process until the end of its tenure on June 11.
Lawan had at yesterday’s plenary requested his colleagues to attend the presentation of certificates of return to Tinunu and Shettima.
“We pray that this country will see more and better development and progress and we also pray that the 10th Senate will provide the kind of support that the President-Elect will need for the betterment of our country,” he added.
Also in Abuja, Speaker Gbajabiamila, said “the victory of the president-elect is a victory for democracy.”
”I have said time and again that Tinubu is the best for Nigeria at this time, and God has answered our prayers,” he said in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Lanre Lasisi.
The Speaker, who expressed confidence that Tinubu would be magnanimous in victory, urged Nigerians to support him to deliver on his campaign promises.
Deputy Speaker Wase said that Tinubu’s victory was a testament to the acceptance of his ideologies of Renewed Hope as the bedrock for national rebirth.
“To me, it is a victory for every well-meaning Nigerian and it is the harbinger of great things to happen in our country,” he added.
*IBB: I’m happy Tinunu won in my lifetime
In his statement, Babangida said that Tinubu would create a new Nigeria.
Babangida, who expressed joy that Tinunu emerged Presiden-elect in his lifetime, said he (Tinubu) has ”what it takes to take Nigeria to the next level.”
“It is a thing of joy that this is happening in my lifetime. I can confidently say that Tinubu is a good man for the job.
“I have no doubt that Tinubu would perform as the President of Nigeria. For some of us, who have been there before, I know that there is still more work to be done, and I believe that Tinubu has what it takes to take Nigeria to the next level.
“We have much potential as a nation. What we need is a good direction so that we can continue to be seen as the giant of Africa. Indeed our best is yet to come, but we can get to where we ought to be with determination and commitment.
”Tinubu is coming from the background of a performer, who loves his people with all his hearts and who knows how to put a round peg in a round hole”, the former military ruler said in a statement by his media office.
Babangida, who commended INEC for the success of the exercise, urged Nigerians to join hands with Tinubu to rebuild the nation.
He also appealed to other candidates to see the emergence of Tinubu as the will of God.
”This is a bright moment for Nigeria, we have to take our destiny into our hands and make things work for us as a nation. We cannot continue to do things the same way, and I believe that God will make things work for this country again,” he added.
*FEC calls for calm
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) rose from its meeting yesterday with a call on Nigerians to eschew all actions capable of negatively impacting the democratic process.
It also admonished those dissatisfied with the outcome of the poll to seek appropriate legal redress.
The calls were contained in a statement by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF Boss Mustapha.
In the statement in which the council also congratulated Tinubu and Shettima, Mustapha expressed confidence that the incoming administration would build on the legacies of Buhari.
The statement reads in part: “The Secretary to the Government of the Federation and Chairman, Presidential Transition Council, Boss Mustapha (CFR), on behalf of Federal Executive Council (FEC), congratulate the President-elect, His Excellency, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the Vice President-elect, His Excellency, Senator Kashim Shettima on their victory at the just concluded presidential election as announced by INEC.
“FEC notes that the President-elect, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, is a seasoned administrator, a technocrat of monumental proportion, an astute politician and a committed party man, whose unrivalled determination is to move the country forward.
“It has the confidence that the incoming administration will build on the legacies of the outgoing administration for a guaranteed, united, peaceful, prosperous and virile nation.
“In this regard, FEC calls on Nigerians to eschew violence and other negative acts capable of eroding the gains of the present democratic process, while urging aggrieved political parties to employ legal means to seek redress as appropriate.
“Also, the Chairman of the Presidential Transition Council looks forward to working with the incoming administration and its team during the transition period.”
APC to Tinubu: Your victory well deserved
The ruling APC described the victory of Tinubu and Shettima as well deserved
APC also said the renewal of the mandate of the APC-led administration was an indication that it remained the preferred choice of Nigerians.
This was contained in a statement to the President-elect and his Vice President-elect by the National Publicity Secretary, Felix Morka.
Dedicating the victory to the Nigerians, APC noted that the support of the people resulted in a renewed mandate for the party.
The statement reads: “the ruling APC has described the victory of President-Elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the Vice President-Elect, Senator Kashim Shettima as well-deserved victory at the just-concluded presidential polls.
“This election was vigorously contested like no other in the history of our democracy, and it witnessed the determined participation of millions of our fellow compatriots. Our country and democracy are richer and stronger together in this strident onward march into a more vibrant future of opportunities, wholesome and transformative development.”
The party also commended Buhari for providing the springboard that paved the way for Tinubu’s victory and INEC for conducting a free and credible presidential election.
It added: ”We also applaud the armed forces and security agencies for their vigilance, and for keeping the perform ace and maintaining law and order during this important exercise. We are equally thankful to local and international observer missions for their roles in monitoring this process to its conclusion.
“We dedicate this victory to all Nigerians for their courage, boundless energy, resilience and abiding love of country.”
The party also acknowledged the contributions of all other presidential candidates maintaining that their efforts at contesting further strengthened and consolidated democratic values in the country.
*UK PM, ECOWAS hail ex-governor
United Kingdom (UK) Prime Minister Rishi Sunak hailed Tinubu for his victory, saying he looks forward to working with him.
In a statement on his official Twitter page, he said: “Congratulations to @officialABAT on his victory in Nigeria.
“The UK-Nigeria relationship remains strong.
“I look forward to working together to grow our security and trade ties, opening up opportunities for businesses and creating prosperity in both our countries.
ECOWAS, in its congratulatory message to Tinubu, appealed “to all the stakeholders to promote peace and to use constitutional means to address any grievances they may have.”
The commission said: “On behalf of His Excellency General Umaru Sissoco Embalo, chair of the ECIWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government and the entire ECOWAS Leadership, we wish to convey our heartfelt congratulations to His Excellency Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu on his election as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
Tinubu said in Daura, Katsina State that some world leaders, including President Emmanuel Macron of France, had called to congratulate him.