The president-elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu has said that renewed hope has dawned in Nigeria with his election.
Tinubu polled 8,794,726 votes to defeat Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who had 6,984,520 votes, while Peter Obi, candidate of the Labour Party (LP), secured 6,101,533.
In his acceptance speech delivered after he was declared winner of the contentious poll, Tinubu said he understands that many Nigerians are “uncertain, angry and hurt”.
“Yes, there are divisions amongst 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 said.
Tinubu promised to be a “servant” to Nigerian youths, saying he has heard them “loud and clear”.
“We are on this journey together. I will not let you down. There will be no university strike again and your universities shall be autonomous, there shall be student loans. I’ll be your servant, not your leader,” he said.
Tinubu praised Ibrahim Masari, the placeholder as a vice-presidential candidate, for his integrity, noting that “he did what he was supposed to do as a leader, dependable, and honest human being”.
The president-elect also extended a hand of fellowship to the supporters of the other leading presidential candidates.
“Whether you are Batist, Atikulated or Obidient or Kwankwasiyya or any other political affiliation, I thank you for working hard to strengthen the democratic system,” he said.
“You voted for a better Nigerian. I thank you for your participation and dedication to our democracy. Renewed hope has dawned and landed on Nigeria. I represent a promise and with your support, I know that promise will be fulfilled.”
Tinubu described the presidential election campaign as “competitive and high-spirited” while asking the opposition to give room for reconciliation and cooperation.
“Political competition must now give way to political conciliation and inclusive governance,” he said.
“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.”
He also reiterated President Muhammadu Buhari’s admonition that aggrieved candidates should challenge the outcome in court — “and not in the streets”.
Tinubu called on his supporters to let peace reign and tensions fade, noting that the “aftermath of our campaign must be benign”.