- Promises inclusive govt.
- African leaders congratulate Buhari
- Why I won’t congratulate him, by Atiku
By Lawrence Olaoye and Lateef Ibrahim, Abuja
The beginning of the NEXT LEVEL in President Muhammadu Buhari administration will likely kick start with a major reshuffle in Cabinet and other appointments, as President promised to form an all inclusive government during his second term in office beginning from May 29th of this year.
This is just as the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Atiku formerly rejected the result of the presidential election announced which gave victory to President Buhari, the flag bearer of the All Progressives Congress.
In his remarks after receiving the Certificate of Return from the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmoud Yakubu, yesterday, the President who congratulated all the contestants at the election, also paid tributes to those Nigerians who lost their lives in the course of the polls.
“I want to assure that we will continue to engage all parties that have the best interest of Nigerians at heart. Our Government will remain inclusive and our doors will remain open. That is the way to build the country of our dream; safe, secure, prosperous, and free of impunity and primitive accumulation by those entrusted with public offices,” said Buhari.
He noted that several observers, both local and foreign adjudged the election as free and fair.
He said, “Now that the elections are over, and a winner declared, we must all see it as a victory for Nigeria, our dear country. That was why I encouraged my teeming supporters, in a speech I read earlier today, not to gloat. Our God-given victory is enough cause for joy, without deriding those who were in the opposition. All Nigerians, going forward, must stand in brotherhood, for a bright and fulfilling future.
“The hard work to deliver a better Nigeria continues, building on the foundations of peace, rule of law and opportunities for all. We will roll up our sleeves afresh, and give it our all. We have no other motive than to serve Nigeria with our hearts and might, and build a nation which we and generations to come can be proud of.
“I am very grateful to the over 15 million citizens who voted for me, those who contributed in many ways in the running of our successful campaign, and those at home and abroad who expressed confidence in me and the APC Government. I thank you all.
“I can assure that you will see a country moving to the Next Level, as we consolidate on our fundamental areas of securing the country, reviving the economy, and fighting corruption. Many other focal areas, as stated in our campaign manual, will be added, to the good things we plan for our country.
“Let me pay tribute here to those who lost their lives either through accidents or mindless violence during the course of these elections. My heart and thoughts are with the families of the victims. May God comfort and give them the fortitude to bear the loss.
“Election is not war, and should never be seen as a do or die affair. I pray that we all accept this democratic approach to elections, however contentious.”
As jubilation continues across Nigeria for President Buhari’s victory, many African leaders have sent congratulatory messages to the President on his re-election.
According to a statement made available to newsmen yesterday by his spokesman, Malam Garba Shehu, King Mohammed VI of the Kingdom of Morocco described President Buhari’s victory as an affirmation of the level of confidence Nigerians have in their President and promised to work with him to advance the interests of both countries.
‘‘Your re-election is a testimony to the level of confidence that you enjoy among the people of Nigeria, attributable to your wisdom, experience in politics, sense of engagement and devotion to the service and the protection of the interests of the country especially as they relate to the prosperity, wellbeing and security of your people,” King Mohammed VI said in his congratulatory message.
The monarch expressed satisfaction with the existing cordial and fraternal African relationship linking the two leaders, their people, and nations.
He reiterated his determination to work in concert with President Buhari to reinforce the mutually beneficial relationship between Morocco and Nigeria and to give it a new impetus to serve as a model on the African continent.
President Alpha Omar Conde of Guinea also extended his congratulations, describing the re-election of President Buhari as a dose of hope for the West African region.
Professor Conde expressed confidence that the cordial relations between Nigeria and Guinea will continue to get better.
Earlier, President Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger, who was the first leader to call President Buhari minutes after the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared him the winner of the 2019 presidential elections, said he looked forward to working with the Nigerian leader to further strengthen Nigeria-Niger relations.
President Buhari has also received congratulatory messages from Presidents Nana Koffi-Addo of Ghana and Macky Sall of Senegal.
However, the Peoples Democratic Party candidate, Alhaji Atiku, has resolved to challenge the outcome of the election in a court of law.
The PDP presidential candidate made his position on the election known at a press conference he personally addressed yesterday in Abuja.
Atiku, while addressing a world press conference at the Shehu Musa Yar’’Adua in Abuja, expressed the firm confidence that victory is sure for him no matter how long the journey may be.
Atiku, a former Vice President between 1999 and 2007, said this latest election is the worse in the 30 years of his sojourned in politics, stressing that not even the military would conduct such.
Atiku, nonetheless, appealed to the international community not to punish the people by divesting from Nigeria, as their quarrel is with those who stole the mandate of the people.
Continuing, the former Vice President said: “Let me say that I am not speaking as a member of the Peoples Democratic Party. I am speaking as a Nigerian when I say that the electoral fraud perpetrated by the Buhari administration this past Saturday cannot produce a government of the people for the simple reason that it does not reflect the will of the Nigerian people.
“It is for this reason that I, Atiku Abubakar, reject the results declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission declaring Muhammadu Buhari as duly returned by the majority of lawful votes.
“I am conferring with not just my party, but also with the Nigerian people, on next steps, which will be revealed to the public shortly.
“This is a long journey, but I am confident of victory. All hope is not lost. Stay strong, by the grace of God we shall triumph”, he stressed.