President Muhammadu Buhari, in the course of the week, hosted the winner of the 2023 presidential election, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Sen. Bola Tinubu, warning that votes and those that cast them should not be taken for granted.
The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu had on Wednesday morning declared Tinubu as winner of Feb. 25 presidential election with 8,794,726 votes.
Tinubu defeated his closest rival Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who polled 6,984,520 votes, and Peter Obi of Labour Party, who secured 6,101,533 votes of the 24,965,218 total votes cast.
Also, Sen. Rabiu Kwankwaso- of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) came distance fourth with 1,496,687 votes.
Reacting to the results announced by the INEC Chairman, Buhari at his country home, Daura, Katsina State, said:
“I congratulate His Excellency, Bola Ahmed Tinubu on his victory. Elected by the people, he is the best person for the job. I shall now work with him and his team to ensure an orderly handover of power.
“The election was Africa’s largest democratic exercise. In a region that has undergone backsliding and military coups in recent years, this election demonstrates democracy’s continued relevance and capability to deliver for the people it serves.
“Within Nigeria, the results reveal democracy’s ripening in our country. Never has the electoral map shifted so drastically in one cycle.
“In the presidential elections, states in all regions across the nation changed colour.
”Some amongst you may have noticed my home state amongst them. The winning candidate did not carry his own home state either. That happene during a competitive election.
”Votes and those that cast them cannot be taken for granted. Each must be earned. Competition is good for our democracy.
”There is no doubt the people’s decision has been rendered in the results we look at today.”
NAN reports that Tinubu was accompanied by Vice-President-elect, Kashim Shettima and the National Chairman of APC, Sen. Abdullahi Adamu.
Others on the trip to Daura were: Governors of Kaduna, Nasir El-Rufai; Kebbi, Atiku Bagudu; Ebonyi, Dave Umahi; Zamfara, Bello Matawalle; Niger, Abubakar Sani-Bello; Lagos, Babajide Sanwo-Olu; Ogun, Dapo Abiodun, Jigawa, Badaru Abubakar and Plateau, Simon Lalong.
The President-elect used the opportunity to thank Buhari for his support during the electioneering process.
Buhari also received political and community leaders at his country home, Daura, on a congratulatory visit over the emergence of Tinubu as the country’s next President.
While receiving Gov. Aminu Masari and the Emir of Daura, Dr Umar Faruk-Umar, who led members of their cabinets on separate visits, Buhari reiterated what he had often said about the President-elect that:
“Bola Tinubu truly believes in Nigeria and is genuinely committed to the progress and sustainable future of Nigeria.”
He thanked the electorate for their massive support for the APC in the Presidential and the National Assembly elections, asking them to further mobilise for the upcoming Gubernatorial and Houses of Assembly elections.
The president was also in Maiduguri, Borno, on Thursday where he inaugurated projects including Maiduguri Emergency Power Project and inspected the ruins of Maiduguri Monday market, destroyed by fire recently.
On the inaugurated Maiduguri Emergency Power Project, Buhari described the feat as another testament towards achieving uninterrupted power supply aimed at improving the economy and lives of Nigerians.
The gas plant was constructed by the Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC Ltd) to supply 50 megawatts of electricity to Maiduguri and environs.
The president was accompanied by Gov. Babagana Zulum of Borno, Vice President-elect Kashim Shettima, members of the Federal Executive Council and some eminent citizens of the state.
On Friday, Buhari also in Daura, Katsina State, virtually inaugurated 700 Ashok Leyland Troop Carrying Vehicles assembled in Lagos.
At the event, the president commended the patriotic role played by the Armed Forces in maintaining law and order at the just -concluded Presidential and National Assembly elections.
According to him, the sacrifices of the Armed Forces remain appreciated by Nigerians.
Buhari pledged more support for the welfare of the military, while assuring that their “labour will not be in vain’.
Buhari, who departed the Umar Musa Yar’Adua International Airport, Katsina, on Saturday for Doha, Qatar, for the 5th UN Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LCDs), is expected back in the country on Wednesday. (NAN)