Nigeria’s president-elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has sent a message to the main contenders in the February 25 presidential election that they were never his enemies.
He offered Atiku Abubakar, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) candidate who finished second in the race, a hand of friendship and invited him to work with him to advance Nigeria after the election.
Following the announcement of his victory by INEC Chairman Mahmood Yakubu, Tinubu gave an acceptance address titled “The Era of Renewed Hope” in which he thanked the Nigerian electorate for their faith in the country’s democracy.
The newly elected president also pledged to lead Nigerians fairly and to use their skills to create a “nation that we can be proud of.”
Tinubu said; “I am grateful to Almighty God. By His mercy, I was born a son of Nigeria, and through His sublime purpose, I find myself the victor of this election. May He grant me the wisdom and courage to lead the nation to the greatness He alone has destined for it.
Finally, I thank the Nigerian people for their abiding belief in our democracy. I shall be a fair leader to all Nigerians. I will be in tune with your aspirations, charge up your energies and harness your talents to deliver a nation that we can be proud of.
To my fellow candidates, former VP Atiku, former governor Kwankwaso, former governor Obi and all others, I extend the hand of friendship. This was a competitive, high-spirited campaign. You have my utmost respect. During the election, you may have been my opponent but you were never my enemy. In my heart, you are my brothers.”
In addition, he encouraged any presidential candidates who were unhappy with his victory to file a lawsuit.
“Still, I know some candidates will be hard put to accept the election results. It is your right to seek legal recourse. What is neither right nor defensible is for anybody to resort to violence. Any challenge to the electoral outcome should be made in a court of law, and not in the streets,” Tinubu said.