Sen. Bola Tinubu, the President-elect, says a renewed hope has dawned in Nigeria with his election, promising to be a fair leader to all.
Tinubu made this known in his acceptance speech on Wednesday in Abuja. He spoke after the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared him the winner of the election.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Tinubu polled a total vote of 8, 794,726 to emerge the winner of the election according to INEC.
Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate and Tinubu’s closest rival got a total of 6, 984, 520 votes while Mr Peter Obi of the Labour Party pulled 6,101, 533 at the election.
Tinubu, a former two-term governor of Lagos State thanked Nigerians for their abiding belief in the country’s democracy and for electing him as the next president.
“Without you, this victory would not be possible. I am grateful to Almighty God, by His mercy, I was born a son of Nigeria and through His sublime purpose, I find myself the victor of this election.
“May He grant me the wisdom and courage to lead the nation to the greatness He alone has destined for it.
“I thank the Nigerian people for their abiding belief in our democracy. I shall be a fair leader to all Nigerians.
“I will be in tune with your aspirations, charge up your energies and harness your talents to deliver a nation that we can be proud of,” Tinubu said.
He noted that the lapses that occurred in the Feb. 25 presidential and National Assembly election were relatively few in number and immaterial to the final outcome of the election.
Tinubu commended INEC for running a free and fair election, adding that with each cycle of elections, the electoral process would be perfected.
“With each cycle of elections, we steadily perfect this process so vital to our democratic life. Today, Nigeria stands tall as the giant of Africa.
“It shines even brighter as the continent’s biggest democracy. I am profoundly humbled that you have elected me to serve as the 16th president of our beloved republic.
“This is a shining moment in the life of any man and affirmation of our democratic existence, from my heart, I say thank you,” Tinubu said.
He thanked the Nigerian electorate for their participation and dedication to the country’s democracy irrespective of party affiliations, saying they voted for a better, more hopeful nation.
“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” Tinubu said.
He thanked those who supported his campaign from President Muhammadu Buhari to the party’s governors, its leadership and loyal members across the country.
The former two-term governor of Lagos State added that he owed everyone who contributed to his election a debt of gratitude.
He particularly thanked the party’s entire campaign council, his wife and family whose support he said was ceaseless and inspiring.
“To my fellow candidates, former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar of the PDP, former Gov. Ibrahim Kwankwaso, of New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) and former Gov. Peter Obi of Labour Party 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, Tinubu said.
For those that may not accept the election results, Tinubu said it was their right to seek legal recourse, adding that what was neither right nor defensible was for anybody to resort to violence.
He further added that any challenge to the electoral outcome should be made in a court of law, and not on the streets.
He charged his supporters to let peace reign and tensions fade, saying they ran a principled, peaceful and progressive campaign.
Tinubu promised to reach out to any member of the APC who that maybe aggrieved.
“Let the better aspects of our humanity step forward at this fateful moment. Let us begin to heal and bring calm to our nation.
“Now, to you, the young people of this country, I hear you loud and clear. I understand your pains, and 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,” Tinubu assured.
He added that with his Vice President-elect Sen. Kashim Shettima, he understood the challenges ahead and also understood and deeply valued the talent and innate goodness of youths and Nigerians generally.
“We pledge to listen and to do the difficult things, the big deeds, that put us on the path of irreversible progress. Hold us firmly to account, but please give us a chance first.
“Together, we shall build a brighter and more productive society for today, tomorrow and for years to come. Today, you have given me the greatest honour you can bestow on one man.
“In return, I will give you my utmost as your next president and Commander-in-Chief. Peace, unity and prosperity shall be the cornerstones of the society we intend to build.
“When you gaze upon what we shall accomplish in the coming years, you shall speak with pride at being a Nigerian” Tinubu assured.
NAN reports that INEC is expected to present Tinubu with a certificate of return at 3 p.m.