President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria has commented on the outcome of the 2023 presidential elections won by the ruling party’s candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Buhari’s official statement came barely an hour after Tinubu had been declared winner of the February 25 vote beating off competition from former vice president Atiku Abubakar and one-time Anambra State governor, Peter Obi.
Buhari’s statement congratulated Nigerians for the conduct of the polls as well as the outcomes, surprising as some were across the country.
He stressed that he was happy that Nigeria had delivered “Africa’s largest democratic exercise,” admitting that faults identified will lead to reforms in the future.
“The election was Africa’s largest democratic exercise. In a region that has undergone backsliding and military coups in recent years, this election demonstrates democracy’s continued relevance and capability to deliver for the people it serves,” the statement read in part.
In his message to the vanquished, the outgoing president noted: “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.
INEC declares Tinubu president-elect
Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the presidential candidate of Nigeria’s ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), has been declared the winner of the 2023 presidential election.
Mahmood Yakubu, chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), announced the results in the wee hours of Wednesday.
Tinubu was in the race along with the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP).
In terms of the hard figures, APC polled 8,805,655 valid votes as against the PDP’s 6,984,520 and LP’s 6,098,588.
The New Nigerian Peoples Party (NNPP) got 1,496,687 valid votes whiles the fourteen other aspirants together got the remaining 666,298.
Nigeria’s peculiar means of determining president means that the winner must get at least 25% of votes in two thirds of the 36 states plus the Federal Capital Territory of Abuja.
Tinubu had at least 25% of votes in 29 states, Atiku had 25% of votes in 21 states, Obi had 25% of votes in 16 states whiles Rabiu Kwankwaso of NNPP passed the threshold in only one state.
Tinubu is expected to be handed his certificate later today at the Abuja International Conference Center where INEC had used as the collation center for the presidential elections.
FULL STATEMENT: STATE HOUSE PRESS RELEASE
PRESIDENT BUHARI CONGRATULATES WINNER OF PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION, ASIWAJU BOLA AHMED TINUBU
President Muhammadu Buhari heartily congratulates the winner of the (2023) Presidential Election, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Reacting to the results just announced, President 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 election was Africa’s largest democratic exercise. In a region that has undergone backsliding and military coups in recent years, this election demonstrates democracy’s continued relevance and capability to deliver for the people 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. 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 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 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.
“However, to do the latter means they are not doing it in the interest of the people, but rather to inflame, to put people in harm’s way and all for personal, selfish gains.
“After a degree of polarization that necessarily accompanies any election, it is now time to come together 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.”
Senior Special Assistant to the President (Media & Publicity)
March 1, 2023