President-elect, Asíwájú Bola Tinubu, yesterday extended the olive branch to his co-contestants in the February 25 presidential elections.
He also promised to hit the ground running as soon as he assumes office, saying he would work day and night to the best of his ability to make the country better.
The key contestants include candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar; Labour Party, LP, Mr Peter Obi; and New Nigerian Peoples Party, NNPP, Senator Musa Rabiu Kwankwaso.
Speaking after he received his Certificate of Return in Abuja yesterday, Tinubu said: “By taking this certificate, I assume a sacred duty I shall never ignore.
“To you the people, especially the youths, I will work day and night. I will work to the utmost of my ability to make Nigeria better.”
Tinubu and his running mate, Senator Kashim Shettima, received their Certificates of Return from the Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, who was the Chief Returning Officer for last Saturday’s Presidential election.
In his speech titled, “To serve the people”, the President-Elect, who extended the olive branch to his challengers at the poll, noted that the road had been long “yet, we walked it. The battle has been hard fought. Yet, we won it.”
According to him, the destiny of the nation depends on the ability of Nigerians to shed the artificial restrictions of bias and prejudice “so that we live fully unto our democratic creed that no one is innately superior or entitled to greater rights and opportunities than any other Nigeria.”
“Very soon, this nation shall witness a young person standing before you holding this great symbol of democracy and national leadership. We shall see a woman standing before you, holding this certificate as its owner. We shall experience someone from a tribe that many people have tried to dismiss as somehow being disqualified for this high office.”
‘My victory is for all’
Turning to those who did not support his aspiration, Tinubu said: “For this to be a victory at all, it cannot simply be a victory for one man or even one party. It must become a victory for all Nigerians who are committed to a greater society.
“I know many did not vote for me. And you are disappointed that your candidate is not where I now stand.
“I understand you are hurt. To you, I extend the embrace and comfort of one family member to another.
“This great project called Nigeria beckons to us all. It is bigger and more important than any partisan divide.
“To my supporters, I ask you to continue to have faith in the mission that we have articulated.
“To those who didn’t support me, I ask that you not allow the disappointment of this moment to keep you from realizing the historic national progress we can make by joining hands and hearts in a common endeavor to pull this nation through.
“In a phrase, I am asking you to work with me. I may be the president-elect but I need you. More importantly, Nigeria needs you. My heart and my door are open to you.
“I ask you to come in so that we may begin the task of rebuilding our national home together, day by day, brick by brick.
“Where there is poverty, let us create prosperity and jobs. Where there is hunger, let us feed the people, chasing hunger from their midst. Where there is now scarcity, let us rediscover abundance. Where there is brutality, may we replace it with brotherhood. Where violence stalks the land, may we establish peace.
“Where others have erected temples of hatred and bias, may we construct permanent monuments of compassion and abiding affection.
“History will record this day as the moment when I officially stood before you as president-elect”, he stated.
‘I hear you loud and clear’
Speaking earlier when he was declared winner of the election, Tinubu said he understands the pains and yearnings of Nigerian youths, saying with the outcome of Saturday’s Presidential election, he has heard them loud and clear.
“Now, to you, the young people of this country, I hear you loud and clear. I understand your pains, your yearnings for good governance, a functional economy and a safe nation that protects you and your future.
“I am aware that for many of you Nigeria has become a place of abiding challenges limiting your ability to see a bright future for yourselves.
“Remodeling our precious national home requires the harmonious efforts of all of us, especially the youth. Working together, we shall move this nation as never before”, he said at his Campaign Council headquarters shortly after he was returned duly elected.
Extends olive branch to Atiku, Obi, Kwankwaso
While extending a hand of fellowship to his closest rivals in the race, Tinubu however conceded that they have the right to seek redress in the law courts, but advised them never to resort to violence.
“Whether you are Batified, Atikulated, Obidient, Kwankwasiyya, or have any other political affiliation, you voted for a better, more hopeful nation and I thank you for your participation and dedication to our democracy.
“You decided to place your trust in the democratic vision of a Nigeria founded on shared prosperity and one nurtured by the ideals of unity, justice, peace and tolerance. Renewed hope has dawned in Nigeria.
“To my fellow candidates, former VP Atiku Abubakar, 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.
“Political competition must now give way to political conciliation and inclusive governance.
“During the election, you may have been my opponent but you were never my enemy. In my heart, you are my brothers.
“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 on the streets.
“I also ask my supporters to let peace reign and tensions fade. We ran a principled, peaceful and progressive campaign. The aftermath of our campaign must be as benign.
“Yes, there are divisions among us that should not exist. Many people are uncertain, angry and hurt; I reach out to every one of you. Let the better aspects of our humanity step forward at this fateful moment. Let us begin to heal and bring calm to our nation,” he counselled.
I’m relieved, El-Rufai reacts to Tinubu’s victory
Meanwhile, Kaduna State Governor, Malam Nasir El-Rufai, has charged the President-Elect to unite all Nigerians and those he called children of anger, disunity and religion.
El-Rufai who gave the charge on Wednesday in Abuja at the National Collation Centre where Tinubu was presented with his Certificate of Return, also said he was finally relieved that in spite of all obstacles, the APC candidate emerged victorious.
“We are so very happy that the people of Nigeria have been able to look at the track records of Tinubu, what he has achieved in Lagos, and what he has been able to do by the way of inclusion in Nigeria politics, to elect him across all the geo-political zones.
“I am relieved and I am very happy that in spite of all the obstacles placed in our path, in spite of all the internal sabotage by people who were supposed to wish us well. God has decided that it is He who gives power to whom He wants when He wants. But people who claimed to be believers did not believe it, they put obstacles in our path, they created problems for our party, and they did everything to make sure we lose but Nigerians are wiser.
“For Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu to be the President of all Nigerians is to bring the children of anger, the children of disunity and religion to the table and unite Nigerians for progress, peace and prosperity. And we are confident he has the capability to lead the people,” he said.
Tinubu sets up reconciliation c’ttee to meet with Atiku, others—Akeredolu
Similarly, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State, yesterday, disclosed that the president-elect has set up a reconciliation committee to meet with other presidential candidates that participated in last Saturday election.
Akeredolu in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Richard Olatunde, said: “A Committee of Elders of the APC would soon begin to meet with co-contestants of the president-elect in a bid to assuage their loss in the just concluded presidential election.
“Every aggrieved person will be met for reconciliation. The President-elect has set up committees to meet with the gentlemen who contested in the election for us to start the healing process. I belong to one of the committees. We are going to meet them and appeal to them so that we can work together.
“This is an election that was not padded. People who voted were counted, that is the way I see it, is not one which shows millions of votes.”
Tinubu has demonstrated fidelity to progressive ideals — Osinbajo
Also, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo congratulated Tinubu on his victory saying that the former Lagos State governor had demonstrated consistent fidelity to progressive and welfarist ideals, and ability to build bridges across several divides.
A statement issued by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Office of the Vice President, Laolu Akande, quoted Osinbajo as congratulation Tinubu and his running mate, Kashim Shettima.
Addressing the President-Elect, the VP stated “in your previous years of public service, you have demonstrated a consistent fidelity to progressive and welfarist ideals, and an ability to build bridges across several divides.
“These attributes are needed especially at this time, to reach out to disaffected sections of our society and to meet the aspirational expectations of our young people who have shown such a strong desire to impact our democratic process in a positive way.
“I trust that they will not allow whatever setbacks they may have experienced to truncate their strong desire to determine the future course of our national journey.
“Through thick and thin, we must all remain focused on the objective of birthing the Nigeria of our dreams.”
Akande also said that Vice President had earlier on Wednesday while presiding over the weekly Federal Executive Council, led Federal Ministers to congratulate the former Lagos Governor, his wife Senator Oluremi Tinubu, the First Lady-Designate and the Vice President-Elect Senator Kashim Shettima.
The VP said: “we wish him (Asiwaju) the very best as he prepares to lead the country in the next few months.”
According to the statement, Osinbajo directed the Secretary to the Government of the Federation to formally convey the felicitations of the Council.
Later, the Vice President attended the formal presentation of the INEC Certificates of Return to both the President-Elect and the Vice President-Elect at the National Collation Center located at the International Conference Centre, Abuja.
Nigeria’ll see more development under Tinubu—Senate
In like manner, the Senate has congratulated Tinubu and Shettima on their victory during Saturday’s election, saying that with them, Nigeria would experience more development.
Speaking yesterday in Abuja during plenary, Senate President Ahmad Lawan, said: “Let me on behalf of the Senate congratulate the winner of the Presidential election 2023, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who was declared the winner by INEC early this morning.
“We pray that this country will see more and better development and progress and we also pray that the 10th Senate will provide the kind of support that the President-Elect will need for the betterment of our country.
Meanwhile, the Senate yesterday confirmed the nomination of Dr Mahmuda Isah as Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
The resolution of the upper chamber was a sequel to the consideration and adoption of the report of the Committee on INEC chaired by Senator Kabiru Gaya, APC, Kano South.
The report was presented by Senator Sadiq Umar (APC – Kwara North) on behalf of the Chairman of the Committee, Senator Kabiru Gaya.
In the report, the Committee observed that Dr Isah had satisfied the requirements of section 154(1), Section 14 (1) and (2) of the Third Schedule, Part 1F of the constitution and orders 119 and 121 of the Senate standing orders, 2015 as (amended).
Oshiomhole, Edo APC laud Tinubu’s victory
The Edo state chapter of the APC and former National Chairman of the party, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, were among those who lauded Tinubu’s victory at the poll.
A statement by the State Publicity Secretary of the party, Uwadiae Igbinigie, said, the victory underlines the intimidating and outstanding credentials of the President – elect which speaks volumes about his capacity and capability; to efficiently steer ashore the ship of the Nigerian nation from troubled waters.
Also, Oshiomhole, in a statement by his Chief Media Aide, Victor Oshioke, said Tinubu’s “superior vision for Nigeria ensured your victory.”
Oshiomhole said he is relieved and elated that Nigerians chose Tinubu over other contestants for the highest office in the land adding: “Those of us who have worked closely with you never doubted the fact that you are the best person for this job at this time and your victory is a clear indication that Nigerians agreed with us.
“Your impressive private and public sector experience are the right credentials needed at this time to put this great nation on the right path to peace, prosperity, and progress.”
British PM, Sunak congratulates Tinubu
•Says UK-Nigeria relationship remains strong
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Rishi Sunak, has congratulated Nigeria’s President-Elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, for winning the election, the UK-Nigeria relationship remained strong.
In a post on Twitter, Sunak said: “Congratulations to @officialABAT on his victory in Nigeria. The UK-Nigeria relationship remains strong. I look forward to working together to grow our security and trade ties, opening up opportunities for businesses and creating prosperity in both our countries.”
The UK-Nigeria relationship remains strong. I look forward to working together to grow our security and trade ties, opening up opportunities for businesses and creating prosperity in both our countries, he added
ECOWAS fetes Tinubu
Also, the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, congratulated Tinubu.
Umaru Embaló, chair of the ECOWAS authority of heads of state and government, conveyed the congratulatory message in a statement on Wednesday.
Embaló said stakeholders must ensure peace is sustained by attending to all grievances following the constitution.
“On behalf of His excellency general Umaru Sissoco Embaló, chair of the ECOWAS authority of heads of state and government and the entire ECOWAS leadership, we wish to convey our heartfelt congratulations to his excellency senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu on his election as president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” the statement reads.
2023 Presidential Poll Result
S/N Candidate Party Score
1 Bola Tinubu APC 8,794,726 (WINNER)
2 Atiku Abubakar PDP 6,984,520
3 Peter Obi LP 6,101,533
4 Rabiu Kwankwaso NNPP 1,496,687
5 Dumebi Kachikwu ADC 81,919
6 Adebayo Adewole SDP 80,267
7 Daniel Nwanyanwu ZLP 77,665
8 Kola Abiola PRP 72,144
9 Peter Umeadi APGA61,966
10 Christopher Imumolen A 61,014
11 Malik Ado YPP 60,600
12 Sani Yusuf ADP 43,924
13 Ojei Chichi APM 25,961
14 Okwudili Anyajike NRM 24,869
15 Adenuga Oluwafemi BP 16,156
16 Omoyele Sowore AAC 14,608
17 Hamza al-Mustapha AA 14,542
18 Nnadi Osita APP 12,839