Former military head of state, General Ibrahim Babangida, has congratulated General Muhammadu Buhari, saying he deserved victory in Saturday’s presidential election.
He said the election conveyed two important statements in our political history: one, that incumbents can be defeated in any democratic process and two, that there is good reward for perseverance and hard work.
Below is the full statement of General Babangida:
“I have just finished watching the proceedings of the declaration of results of the March 28, 2015 elections by the Independent National Electoral Commission and the emergence of my friend, professional colleague and former Head of State, General Muhammadu Buhari, as the President-elect. Let me, therefore, formally congratulate General Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives’ Congress for this well-deserved victory.
“This victory to me conveys two significant statements on our political history and evolution. First; that incumbents can be defeated in any democratic process if the people’s aspirations are not fulfilled. Second, that there is good reward for perseverance and hard work. General Buhari has been very consistent in pursuing his political aspiration. In fact, he reminds me of President Abraham Lincoln of the American fame, who was very dogged in pursuing his political aspiration and enriched the contents of democracy in America.
“General Buhari lives true to his military calling by remaining very consistent, resilient and courageous right from 2003 till date. This enviable feat to me further enriches our democratic process and matures us into the top echelon of nations where democracy has taken firm root. That President Jonathan has indeed conceded defeat and congratulated the President-elect is also cheering news.
“Let me also congratulate other presidential candidates of the other political parties, especially Mr. President, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, for putting up a good fight in the elections. I wish to also commend the Independent National Electoral Commission, for conducting such a free, fair and transparent election despite all the initial hitches and challenges. The beauty of democracy is that it is an on-going process that gives room for improvement, provides opportunity to make amends, and affords the people the opportunity to make a statement with their ballots during elections.
“With this election and its outcome thus far, Nigeria has once again recorded another milestone in her march through the enviable ladder of democracy. Our leadership role in Africa will further be enhanced by the way and manner we manage the gains of this process. But I trust that the President-elect will live up to the expectations of many Nigerians that crave for change; and lift Nigeria to greater heights. I wish to implore the President-elect to reach out to other contestants in the spirit of one Nigeria, as he settles down for the task of leading this nation in the next four years.
“Your victory has no doubt broken the barriers of ethnicity and religious inclinations; two sensitive issues that undeservedly dominated the campaigns. I am confident that this victory will usher in a new perspective in our political history and development.
“On behalf of my family, accept from me, our hearty congratulations”.