The Presidency yesterday described the February 25 Presidential and National Assembly elections as the biggest and most competitive in Nigeria’s history.
It marked a commendable progress on the nation’s electioneering experience, the Presidency said yesterday in a statement by Senior Special Assistant to President Buhari on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu.
Pointing out that the outcome of the elections had been widely praised locally and internationally, the Presidency, noted that no one had disputed the result of the elections, except those who lost to the will of the majority in the process.
The Presidency was reacting to the published opinion of two former American ambassadors, Mark Green and Johnnie Carson, who joined other foreign observers to monitor the elections, on behalf of the National Democratic Institute/International Republican Institute (NDI/IRI) Election Observation Missions.
In the statement, the Presidential spokesman said that by many standards, the election, as conducted by the Independent National Election Commission (INEC), following the precepts of the Electoral Act 2022, was a significant improvement on past elections, a development for which both the government and people of Nigeria deserve to be credited.
The statement said some of the noticeable hitches experienced during the polls, including delays and technical issues, were normal with elections anywhere in the world.
It, therefore, demanded that all friends of Nigeria should to rather join Nigerians in making forward progress towards sustainable peace.
The statement reads: “The Presidency thanks former ambassadors Mark Green and Johnnie Carson – along with other foreign observers – for their concerns over the logistics of the recent general election in Nigeria and their work as observers on the National Democratic Institute/International Republican Institute Election Observation Missions.
“It is worth setting their comments in context. No one has disputed the result of the election, except the candidates that fell short. The biggest and the most competitive presidential election in the history of Nigeria has been won by one man: Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
“The U.S. State department congratulated President-elect Bola Tinubu of the governing All Progressives Congress (APC) and the people of Nigeria on the outcome of the “competitive election.”
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak was quick to congratulate the winner. So, did many others in Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the African Union (AU).
The statement reads further: “Though it is true there were some delays and technical faults in the process that we can learn from – as is the case in any election the world over – the vote progressed and consolidated democracy in Nigeria.
“The integrity of the Electoral Act of 2022 was strengthened. The Bimodal Voter Accreditation System cut out ghost, unauthorised or multiple votes to stem fraud. The election may not have been pluperfect, but due to the steps the government has taken, it is an improvement on previous polls. That achievement should not be overlooked. The next step is for the Election Commission to ensure transparency in collation.
“Adverse reactions, as received from some quarters, are themselves a part of the learning process for everyone. Elsewhere, the world had been treated to epic lies, obfuscation, jingoism and hate, and told by global media to expect a different outcome. Nigerians shocked the world by refusing religious hatred and sectarian politics.
“All true friends of Nigeria should join the people in proceeding forward for sustainable peace.
“APC victory in the presidential election, underscored by the nationwide wave of support in the National Assembly results, is clear mandate for the party to retain power for another term of four years.
“This election is an improvement on past elections and due credit should be given to the government and people of this country.”