Jonathan has nothing to fear – Buhari assures | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Jonathan has nothing to fear – Buhari assures

Posted: Apr 2, 2015 at 1:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

•Receives Certificate of Return •Talks tough on corruption, B’Haram 

•Tells Nigerians, votes not wasted •Obama applauds President, Jega for successful polls •Exercise, benchmark for other nations – EU observers, Mo Ibrahim 

By Joe Nwankwo and Chesa Chesa (Abuja) and Ekene Okoro (Lagos)


The President-Elect General Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday extended a hand of friendship and conciliation to President Jonathan and his team, despite the rancour leading to last weekend’s general elections.

jonathan, buhari on violence free pact

Jonathan and Buhari 

In a speech after collecting his certificate of return from the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Prof. Attahiru Jega at the National Collation Centre, Abuja, titled: “The Die is Cast,” General Buhari said despite the disagreement over the methods of governing the nation, “President Jonathan has nothing to fear from me.”

Describing Jonathan as a great Nigerian who is “still our president,” Buhari said he harbour “no ill will against anyone,” stressing that the incumbent “deserves our support and permanent respect by virtue of the office he has held.

“This is how an honourable nation treats its servants and conducts its affairs; and this is how Nigeria should be looking forward to meeting with President Jonathan in the days to come to discuss how our teams can make the transition of administrations as efficient as possible.

Continuing, the President-elect urged all to “forget our old battles and past grievances—and learn to forge ahead. I assure you that our government is one that will listen to and embrace all.

“INEC has announced that I, Muhammadu Buhari, shall be your next president. My team and I shall faithfully serve you. There shall no longer be a ruling party again: APC will be your governing party. We shall faithfully serve you. We shall never rule over the people as if they were subservient to government.

“Our long night has passed and the daylight of new democratic governance has broken across the land. This therefore is not a victory for one man or even one party. It is a victory for Nigeria and for all Nigerians. Millions of you have worked for this day. So many have risked life and livelihood; and others have died that we may witness this moment.

“And it is with a very heavy heart that I report many deaths and injuries amidst the jubilations yesterday. We send our sincere condolences to the families and friends of those who lost their lives; and wish speedy recovery to those who suffered injuries. I appeal to all our supporters to celebrate this victory with prayers and reflection instead of wild jubilation. May the souls of those who died rest in peace. Let us take a moment of silence to honour all of those whose sacrifices have brought us to this fine and historic hour. As the results of the election have shown, their labor has not been and will never be in vain. Democracy and the rule of law will be re-established in the land,” he assured.

Buhari further pledged the commitment of himself “and our in-coming administration to just and principled governance. There shall be no bias against or favouritism for any Nigerian based on ethnicity, religion, region, gender or social status.”

While appreciating Nigerians for the confidence reposed in him at this time, he promised his best in tackling the many challenges confronting the nation such as insecurity, corruption, economic decline.

“No doubt, this nation has suffered greatly in the recent past, and its staying power has been tested to its limits by crises, chief among which is insurgency of the Boko Haram. There is no doubt that in tackling the insurgency we have a tough and urgent job to do. But I assure you that Boko Haram will soon know the strength of our collective will and commitment to rid this nation of terror, and bring back peace and normalcy to all the affected areas. We shall spare no effort until we defeat terrorism.

“Furthermore, we shall strongly battle another form of evil that is even worse than terrorism—the evil of corruption. Corruption attacks and seeks to destroy our national institutions and character. By misdirecting into selfish hands funds intended for the public purpose, corruption distorts the economy and worsens income inequality. It creates a class of unjustly-enriched people.

“Such an illegal, yet powerful force, soon comes to undermine democracy because its conspirators have amassed so much money that they believe they can buy government. We shall end this threat to our economic development and democratic survival. I repeat that corruption will not be tolerated by this administration; and it shall no longer be allowed to stand as if it is a respected monument in this nation.”

He said the obligation of Nigerians does not end with voting, calling for input into plans for tackling the problems, assuring that the incoming government will not merely be democratic only in form, but also “in substance and in how it interacts with its own people.

He promised that the government will “never take you for granted; so, be rest assured that our errors will be those of compassion and commitment not of willful neglect and indifference.

“We shall correct that which does not work and improve that which does. We shall not stop, stand or idle. We shall, if necessary crawl, walk and run to do the job you have elected us to do.”

He also promised to immediately begin the process of meeting the high expectation of Nigerians to change amidst their unshaken belief, appealing for appreciation of the gravity of the situation, “so that we become more realistic in our expectations.”

“We will govern for you and in your interests. Your vote was not wasted. This is not the first time Nigerians have cast their votes for us, and this is not the first time they have been counted; but this is the first time that the votes have been allowed to count. With the help of God, we pledge to do our utmost to bring forth the Nigeria you seek.”

He also expressed commitment “to the rule of law, in which none shall be so above the law that they are not subject to its dictates, and none shall be so below it that they are not availed of its protection.

“You shall be able to go to bed knowing that you are safe and that your constitutional rights remain in safe hands. You shall be able to voice your opinion without fear of reprisal or victimisation. My love and concern for this nation and what I desire for it extends to all, even to those who do not like us or our politics.

“You are all my people and I shall treat everyone of you as my own. I shall work for those who voted for me as well as those who voted against me and even for those who did not vote at all. We all live under one name as one nation: we are all Nigerians.

Buhari thanked the All Progressives Congress (APC) for providing the platform to actualise his dream and its “members for the steadfast contributions they made to bring our dream to fruition. I thank INEC, the police and all other government agencies for performing their tasks in a proper manner and for refusing to be induced to undermine the election and the democratic process.”

Earlier, the INEC Chairman Prof. Jega thanked Nigerians and stakeholders, including INEC staff, the Director-General of the National Youth Service Youths and members of the NYSC for their sacrifice for contributing to the success of the elections.

Meanwhile, U.S. President, Barak Obama, on Tuesday commended the commitment displayed by Nigerians to democracy by turning out in large number for Saturday’s elections to decide the country’s future in a peaceful manner.

A statement by Office of the Press Secretary, at the White House, quoted Obama as applauding President Jonathan and Buhari for their public commitments to non-violence throughout the campaign on behalf of the American people.

The statement particularly applauded President Jonathan for placing his country’s interests first by conceding the election and congratulating the president-elect, saying he looks “forward to working with President Jonathan throughout the remainder of his term, and I thank him for his many years of service and his statesmanlike conduct at this critical juncture.

He urged the duo to repeat their calls to for respect of the polls’ outcomes and “focus on unifying the country, and together lead Nigeria through a peaceful transition,”

He said Prof. Jega, deserves “special recognition for what independent international observers have deemed a largely peaceful and orderly vote.

“I commend INEC for its extensive efforts to increase the credibility and transparency of the electoral process.  Looking ahead to the gubernatorial elections on April 11, it is imperative that national attention turn to ensuring isolated logistical challenges are overcome and peace is protected, even in the most hotly contested races.”



Also commending on the outcome of last Saturday’s elections, Mo Ibrahim, founder of the Mo Ibrahim foundation said Nigeria has set “a benchmark for other African countries to follow.”

In a statement on Tuesday, Ibrahim, a Sudanese-British mobile communications entrepreneur and billionaire philanthropist described as wonderful, the news from Nigeria.

“Today, we Africans are all proud of Nigeria and President Jonathan,” he added, thanking the President Jonathan for achieving a legacy.

Presenting their interim reports, the European Union (EU) Observer Mission for the elections, described President Jonathan as a good example to the world for the way he conducted the polls and conceded victory to his opponent without rancour.

Jonathan had on Tuesday, while collation of votes was ending, telephoned his main challenger, congratulating him for his victory, an action the EU Observer Mission leader, Santiago Fisas is commendable.

“The elections are so important for the people of Nigeria, but it is an African example for all Africa and countries innate world.

“You know many people didn’t expect that the elections will be peaceful, they expected a lot of violence after the elections but it turned out not to be true.

“I would like to congratulate Nigerian people because they showed a lot of commitment to that election.

“Not in all circumstances would you see such that, people stood in the sun for a very long and hot day, despite some of these problems. It shows that you Nigerians are truly democratic.”