By; SUNDAY ODE, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari in Wednesday insisted that last Saturday’s elections in which the Independent National Electoral Commission returned him for a second tenure was free and fare.
The President who stated this in his remarks at the International Conference Centre, venue of the Presidential Election Collation, where he was presented his certificate of return by the electoral umpire, said he derived his conclusion from comments of some foreign and local observers.
The candidate of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has, however, rejected the results of the polls on account of allegations of irregularities.
Buhari commended the candidates of the opposition political parties for what he described as a hard fought campaign, saying that all of them were driven by their love for the country.
He therefore called on the opposition to close rank with him and see his emergence as victory for the country and democracy.
He said: “I wish, Mr Chairman, to congratulate all the Presidential candidates and their teams on a hard-fought campaign. We may have had different views during the campaign, but the one thing most of us have in common is love of our country and our desire to improve conditions for Nigerians.
” From the comments of several observers both local and foreign, it is obvious that the elections were both free and fair.
“Now that the elections are over, and a winner declared, we must all see it as a victory for Nigeria, our dear country. That was why I encouraged my teeming supporters, in a speech I read earlier today, not to gloat. Our God-given victory is enough cause for joy, without deriding those who were in the opposition. All Nigerians, going forward, must stand in brotherhood, for a bright and fulfilling future.
” I therefore want to assure that we will continue to engage all parties that have the best interest of Nigerians at heart. Our Government will remain inclusive and our doors will remain open. That is the way to build the country of our dream; safe, secure, prosperous, and free of impunity and primitive accumulation by those entrusted with public offices.”