General Muhammadu Buhari, Nigeria’s president-elect this afternoon been issued a Certificate of Return by INEC. Read his acceptance below:
I am immensely grateful to God for this day and for this hour. I feel truly honoured and humbled that the Nigerian people have so clearly chosen me to lead them. The official announcement from INEC was the moment the vast majority of Nigerians had hoped and been waiting for. Today, history has been made, and change has finally come. Your votes have changed our national destiny for the good of all Nigerians.
INEC has announced that I, Muhammadu Buhari, shall be your next president. My team and I shall faithfully serve you. There shall no longer be a ruling party again: APC will be your governing party. We shall faithfully serve you. We shall never rule over the people as if they were subservient to government.
Our long night has passed and the daylight of new democratic governance has broken across theland. This therefore is not a victory for one man or even one party. It is a victory for Nigeria and forall Nigerians. Millions of you have worked for this day. So many have risked life and livelihood;and others have died that we may witness this moment.
And it is with a very heavy heart that I report many deaths and injuries amidst the jubilations yesterday.We send our sincere condolences to the families and friends of those who lost their lives; and wishspeedy recovery to those who suffered injuries. I appeal to all our supporters to celebrate this victorywith prayers and reflection instead of wild jubilation.
May the souls of those who died rest in peace. Let us take a moment of silence to honour all of thosewhose sacrifices have brought us to this fine and historic hour. As the results of the election haveshown, their labor has not been and will never be in vain. Democracy and the rule of law will be re-established in the land.
Let us put the past, especially the recent past, behind us. We must forget our old battles and pastgrievances—and learn to forge ahead. I assure you that our government is one that will listen to andembrace all.
I pledge myself and our in-coming administration to just and principled governance. There shall be nobias against or favouritism for any Nigerian based on ethnicity, religion, region, gender or socialstatus. I pledge myself and the government to the rule of law, in which none shall be so above thelaw that they are not subject to its dictates, and none shall be so below it that they are not availed of its protection.
You shall be able to go to bed knowing that you are safe and that your constitutional rights remain insafe hands. You shall be able to voice your opinion without fear of reprisal or victimisation. Mylove and concern for this nation and what I desire for it extends to all, even to those who do not likeus or our politics. You are all my people and I shall treat everyone of you as my own. I shallwork for those who voted for me as well as those who voted against me and even for those who didnot vote at all. We all live under one name as one nation: we are all Nigerians.
Some unfortunate issues about my eligibility have been raised during the campaign. I wish to statethat through devotion to this nation, everything I have learned and done has been to enable me to make the best possible contribution to public life. If I had judged myself incapable of governing Iwould never have sought to impose myself on it. I have served in various capacities and have always putin my best.
But despite the rancour of the elections, I extend a hand of friendship and conciliation to PresidentJonathan and his team. I hereby wish to state that I harbour no ill will against anyone.
Let me state clearly that President Jonathan has nothing to fear from me. Although we may notagree on the methods of governing the nation, he is a great Nigerian and still our president. Hedeserves our support and permanent respect by virtue of the office he has held. This is how anhonourable nation treats its servants and conducts its affairs; and this is how Nigeria should be.
I look forward to meeting with President Jonathan in the days to come to discuss how our teams canmake the transition of administrations as efficient as possible.
Here, I want to thank my party for selecting me as its candidate. I thank our party leaders andmembers for the steadfast contributions they made to bring our dream to fruition. I thank INEC, thepolice and all other government agencies for performing their tasks in a proper manner and forrefusing to be induced to undermine the election and the democratic process.
I also wish to thank religious Leaders, traditional leaders, the media, labor unions, Civil Societyorganisations, organised private sector, youths and students for their roles in this election.
PHOTO CREDIT – BAYO OMOBORIOWO