Former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, have congratulated the Presidential candidate of the All progressives congress Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd,,) on his victory in the presidential poll.
And while Obasanjo charged Buhari to fight corruption and carry out reforms in different sectors, IBB said President Goodluck Jonathan lost to Buhari because Jonathan failed to meet the yearnings and aspiration of Nigeria’s citizens.
Obasanjo's congratulatory message which was made available to reporters at Abeokuta on Tuesday noted that so much harm had already been done to many national institutions, including the military, and however, advised him to be magnanimous in victory. He said:
“With so much harm already done to many national institutions including the military, which proudly nurtured you and me, you will have a lot to do on institution reform – education, healthcare, economy, security, infrastructure, power, youth employment, agri-business, oil and gas, external affairs, cohesiveness of our nation and ridding our land of corruption.
“Your varied and wide experience will undoubtedly stand you in good stead.”
The former president said the country
“is blessed with men and women of goodwill, character and virtue across the board that you can mobilise to join hands with you in the reform, repairs and re-direction that will be imperative to put Nigeria back on the fast lane of good governance, unity, cohesiveness, development and progress.”
Obasanjo noted that Buhari’s victory, after three previous unsuccessful attempts, must be a great lesson to himself and for all politicians, particularly in Nigeria. He continued:
“For me, the totality of 2015 elections hold many lessons for our democracy and democratisation process, which are both maturing.
“On this occasion, the system has been unnecessarily overheated before and particularly during the campaigns when emphasis was more on trivialities and hate, divisive, undignifying and disrespectful statements and comments rather than on pressing issues requiring attention.
“I know that in victory, you will be magnanimous to start binding the wounds and bitterness occasioned by the campaign and the evil disciples.”
In his own congratulatory message titled: “Buhari deserves this victory” and which he personally signed, Babangida said the country had witnessed a downward trend and wanted a leader who would salvage it.
He said Nigerian politicians had a lot of lessons to learn from the election and Buhari’s victory saying one of this was that an incumbent could be defeated if he did not do well as President. Apart from this, he said there was a lesson to learn from Buhari’s perseverance after he had lost three previous elections.
“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.”