Former head of state and President-elect has described President Jonathan as a worthy opponent.
He extended his hand of fellowship to him in his acceptance speech.
Below is the statement:
“At exactly 5:15pm this (Tuesday) evening President Jonathan called to congratulate me on my victory. For this I want all Nigerians to join me in congratulating and appreciating Mr President for his statesmanship.
President Jonathan engaged in a spirited campaign and was a worthy opponent. I extend my hand of fellowship to him. I look forward to meeting him soon as we plan the transition from one administration to another. He will receive nothing but understanding, cooperation and respect from me and my team.
The good people of Nigeria answered the call of history. When the account of this fine moment is written, it will be said that it was the people themselves who led this nation to democracy.
You stood in line patiently for hours in the sun, rain and then in the dark to cast your ballots. Even when the vote was extended to Sunday in some places, you still performed your civic duty. You did so peacefully. You voted with your heart. Your vote affirms that you believe Nigeria’s future can be better than what it is today.
You voted for change and now change has come.
INEC has released the official results of the Presidential election. INEC has declared that I gained the most votes with the required spread and thus won this election. In a more profound way, it is you, Nigerians that have won. The people have shown their love for our nation and their belief in democracy.
The declaration of INEC accurately reflects the will of the people. While there might have been some logistical obstacles and irregularities associated with the exercise, the result shall stand as what the people want.
I thank all Nigerians who have made this day possible. Our country has now joined the community of nations that have used the ballot box to peacefully change an incumbent President in a free and fair election. To me this is indeed historic.
Most people will welcome the result because it is the one they voted for. Others will naturally be disappointed. I ask that we all be circumspect, respectful and peaceful in these times. This was a hard- fought contest. Emotions are high. We must not allow them to get the better of us. This is not the time for confrontation. This is a moment that we must begin to heal the wounds and work toward a better future. We do this first by extending a hand of friendship and conciliation across the political divide. We hope and pray our friends in other parties reciprocate.
I thank all the members of the All Progressives Congress, APC, for their commitment and their hard work through the formation of the party, the campaigns and the Presidential elections. Let me equally extend my appreciation to the MEDIA, Civil Society and the Security agencies for their selfless service.
The International press and our friends abroad deserve special commendation for their support throughout the process. We promise a robust and dynamic engagement with your countries in matters of mutual interest to nations.
In the interim, I call on all Nigerians to be law abiding and peaceful. The eyes of the world were focused on us to see if we could vote in a peaceful way and carry out a representative election in an orderly manner. You have proven to the world that we are a people who have embraced democracy and a people who seek a of government by, for and of the people.
We have put one party state behind us. You have voted for a party and president that will serve and govern but never rule over you. Change has come. A new day and a new Nigeria are upon us. The victory is yours and the glory is that of our nation – Nigeria.
I will make a more formal address to the nation tomorrow (today) after receiving the certificate of return from INEC.
May God Bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria”.