Incumbent President Buhari spoke through the statement by media aide Garba Shehu on Wednesday morning.
According to Buhari, “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”.
Buhari said that for a region that has suffered from defeats and military coups in recent years, this election demonstrates the continued relevance of democracy and its ability to serve the people. that it serves.
“within Nigeria, 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 amongst you may have noticed my home state amongst 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”.
Buhari went further to state that competition was good for democracy, adding that “there is no doubt the people’s decision has been rendered in the results we look at today.”
He admitted that that was not to say the exercise was without fault.
In his words, “for instance, there were technical problems with electronic transmission of the results. Of course, there will be areas that need work to bring further transparency and credibility to the voting procedure.”
He said none of the issues registered represent a challenge to the freeness and fairness of the elections.
“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,” he tasked the losers.
Buhari, therefore, warns that going against this path means that they are not doing it for the benefit of the people but to incite, and endanger everyone and all for personal gain and selfishness.
He also advised all candidates in the just-ended election that after a degree of polarization that inevitably accompanies any election, now is the time to unite and act responsibly.
“I call on all candidates to remember the peace pledge they signed just days before the election. Do not undermine the credibility of INEC. Let us now move forward as one. The people have spoken,” he said.
Recall that Buhari had on Saturday, in Daura, in the polls, publicly displayed his ballots so that everyone could see who he voted for.
Minutes later, his actions caused widespread controversy within the regime as many Nigerians split over whether he had broken electoral laws.
Garba Shehu later explained in a statement his principle of such violation, saying that Buhari was simply displaying his ballot as a rare sign of loyalty to the party and preferred candidate. his likes.
Tinubu then lost the state of Katsina to the opposition People’s Democratic Party, the PDP.