Retired General Ibrahim Babangida, former Military President, has reacted to the outcome of the just-concluded presidential election in Nigeria.
President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC) defeated Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the February 23 presidential election.
INEC thereafter declared him winner having polled 15,191,847 votes as against Atiku’s 11,262,978 votes with a victory margin of 3,928,869 votes.
In a statement he signed on Saturday, IBB congratulated the Nigerian electorate for conducting themselves peacefully during the voting process.
“Sadly, due to violence in some part of the country, lives were lost and I would like to extend my heartfelt condolences to their families for the death of their loved ones”, he noted.
“I wish to congratulate President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR on his re-election to lead Nigeria in the next four years. I have observed that, the electioneering campaign was very strenuous and the contest very keen. That despite the turbulent terrain of politics, the President submitted and subjected himself to this process. Indeed is a clear testimony that he believes in the democratic process and ideals.
“The newly elected president should heal the wounds of the heated campaign exchanges by embracing those who contested alongside with him. The President must resist the temptation to see them as enemies; not even opponents, but fellow compatriots who merely disagreed with him on how best to move our country forward.
“Now that the President has won his re-election bid, he should confront with renewed vigour the most urgent problem confronting Nigeria: ‘insecurity of lives and property’.
“The Boko Haram insurgency remains a threat to many Nigerians; particularly in the North East sub-region, while the twin evils of kidnapping and armed robbery/armed banditry remain a major national menace. The president must pay priority attention to these security issues.
“The economy of the country must also occupy the president’s urgent attention. There is the need to be more creative in formulating policies that will improve the nation’s economy, create employment opportunities and give hope to our teaming youths.
“The President may wish to heed to the yearnings of reasonable Nigerians for restructuring and seek all constitutional means to devolve some powers presently exercised by the Federal Government to the other tiers of government.
“Let me commend and convey my admiration to the other contestants for the office of president.”