Nigeria President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has publicly conceded defeat to opposition candidate General Muhammadu Buhari after closely fought elections in Africa’s most populous nation.
In a statement released on Tuesday even before official announcement of the winner by the Independent National Electoral Commission (Inec), President Jonathan congratulated Nigerians over the successful conduct of the 5th elections since military rule ended in 1999.
“I also commend the Security Services for their role in ensuring that the elections were mostly peaceful and violence-free.”
The elections were generally considered free and fair, especially by international observers though they expressed concerns about pockets of violence in some states.
“I promised the country free and fair elections,” Mr Jonathan stated. “I have kept my word. I have also expanded the space for Nigerians to participate in the democratic process. That is one legacy I will like to see endure.”
He said those who feel aggrieved by the results announced by Inec should follow due process in seeking redress, indicating that: “nobody’s ambition is worth the blood of any Nigerian.”
“The unity, stability and progress of our dear country is more important than anything else.”
President Jonathan, who won the elections last time in 2011 on the ticket of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), expressed gratitude to his “colleagues” for “establishing a legacy of democratic freedom, transparency, economic growth and free and fair elections.
“For the past 16 years, we have steered the country away from ethnic and regional politics. We created a Pan-Nigerian political party and brought home to our people the realities of economic development and social transformation.”
President-elect Buhari, a former military ruler, is scheduled to be sworn into office on Friday, May 29.
“I thank all Nigerians once again for the great opportunity I was given to lead this country and assure you that I will continue to do my best at the helm of national affairs until the end of my tenure.”
By Emmanuel Kwame Amoh|3news.com|Ghana