President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate Bola Tinubu on winning the presidential election.
Tinubu received 8,794,726 votes to defeat Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who received 6,984,520 votes, and Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP), who received 6,101,533 votes, according to the results issued by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Wednesday.
In a statement released by presidential spokesman Garba Shehu, Buhari advised dissatisfied candidates to take their grievances to court, stressing that protests will only exacerbate tensions.
The president stated that measures will be made to improve the country’s voting process in response to the complaints aired over INEC’s result viewing portal.
He described Tinubu as the best candidate for the role and pledged to cooperate with the incoming president to ensure a seamless transition of power.
I congratulate Bola Ahmed Tinubu on his triumph. People-elected, he is the best candidate for the position. I will now collaborate with him and his team to guarantee a smooth transfer of power,” stated Buhari.
The election was the largest democratic exercise in Africa. This election proves democracy’s enduring relevance and capacity to deliver for the people it serves in a region that has experienced regression and military coups in recent years.
“The outcomes in Nigeria demonstrate the maturation of democracy in our country. Never before has the electoral map changed so significantly in a single election cycle. During the presidential election, states from all parts of the country changed hue. Some of you may have recognized my home state among those listed. The victorious candidate did not even carry his home state. This occurs during an election campaign.
“Neither votes nor the individuals who cast them can be taken for granted. Every one must be earned. Competition is beneficial to democracy. There is no doubt that the will of the people has been expressed in the outcomes we saw today.
“This does not mean the exercise was flawless. There were technical issues with the electronic transmission of the results, for example. Obviously, there will be areas that require improvement in order to increase the voting procedure’s transparency and legitimacy. Yet, none of the concerns raised pose a threat to the fairness and freedom of the elections.
“I am aware that certain politicians and candidates may disagree with this perspective. It too is OK. If a candidate believes they can provide evidence of the alleged fraud committed against them, they should do so.
“If they cannot, we must conclude that the election reflected the will of the people, regardless of how difficult it may be for the losers to accept. If they feel the need to contest, they should do it in court, not on the street.
“But, if they do the latter, they are not acting in the people’s best interests, but rather to inflame, to put people in danger, and for their own personal advantage.
“Following the inevitable polarization that accompanies every election, it is now time to unite and act responsibly.
“I urge all candidates to recall the peace oath they swore days before the election. Do not compromise INEC’s legitimacy. Let us now proceed together. The voice of the people has been heard.”