Nigeria’s President-elect, Bola Tinubu has claimed that the February 25 presidential election was free, fair, and credible.
Tinubu stated this in a signed statement on Thursday titled, “Nigeria: At the Cusp of Renewed Hope,’’ released on Thursday in Abuja.
He stated that a fair and credible poll was held and won, adding that the honour of that victory and the steep responsibility it entails has fallen on him.
Tinubu noted that many Nigerians voted for other candidates and are naturally disappointed that their favoured candidate did not win.
The president-elect said he welcomes the decision of his opponents to challenge the outcome of the presidential election in court.
He, however, said while his opponents are free to exercise the legal rights, he has set his course and mind on the leadership of this nation.
He said, “A fair, credible election has been held and has been won. The honour of that victory and the steep responsibility it entails has fallen on me. I say this not to gloat or boast because there is no room for such behaviour. I merely state the facts as they are. I realise many good and well-meaning Nigerians voted for other candidates. They are naturally disappointed that their favoured candidate did not win.
“Other candidates have voiced their dissatisfaction, stating they will go to court to contest the election. This is inherent to the democratic process. We defend their right to seek legal recourse. While they exercise the legal rights afforded them in our democracy, I have set my course and mind on the leadership of this nation. We have important work to do and I am committed to getting that work done for the benefit of all the people, whether or not they voted for me or even voted at all.’’
Tinubu said it was not the time for continued acrimony and partisan recrimination, adding that negative things that could incite violence were not the pathway to a better nation.
He also refuted claims by some critics that the country’s political system is fragmented because of the impressive showing of new parties and their candidates.
He added, “Critics of Nigeria have been too quick to conclude that our political system is fragmented because of the impressive showing of new parties and their candidates.
“These critics are wrong. The emergence of the new parties and their candidates underscores the dynamic strength of our democracy. People want democracy to work and they want to have their voices heard and interests met within it. This is a good thing to be promoted, not something to be feared.
“What must concern Nigerians is not the growth of parties but the regrowth of old prejudices and bigotries such as ethnicity, creed and place of origin.
“As a nation and individuals imbued with the love of God and of fellow man, Nigerians were better than this, adding that at some point the citizens must decide whether they shall be enticed by the ills of the past or more bravely and nobly be encouraged by the eminent prospect of a brighter future.
“There have been times in our past when our governing institutions created more questions than they answered. But the arc of our political history gives me confidence that we can overcome that past. We have walked through the thick of the night to emerge into the light of brighter days to come. There is no good reason to retreat into the darkness of years past.’’