Nigerians have commended President Goodluck Jonathan for conceding and congratulating Gen Muhammadu Buhari as winner of Saturday’s Presidential Election.
In Enugu, the residents commended the president for his display of sportsmanship following the victory of Gen. Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Some of the people, who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday said Jonathan had exhibited great statesmanship.
The South-East Coordinator of APC Presidential Campaign Organisation, Chief Osita Okechukwu, said the victory which was for Nigerians was a display of democracy.
“We congratulate Nigerians for the peaceful elections. We also congratulate President Goodluck Jonathan for his display of sportsmanship by congratulating Gen. Buhari.
“The core ingredient of election is a reflection of the performance of the incumbent and the character of the challenger.
“This victory shows that votes of the people count in elections,’’ Okechukwu said.
According to him, Gen. Buhari has promised to run a transparent government, war against corruption and provide maximum security to citizens of the country and he will deliver.
The South-East Zonal Director of the Civil Liberties Organisation, Mr Olu Omotayo, said it was the first time in the history of the country that an opposition party was winning elections at the centre.
Omotayo, who also congratulated Jonathan, said the victory of an opposition party was a reflection of change in the democratic parlance of the country.
He urged the president-elect to live up to the expectations of the people in order to justify the confidence reposed on him.
A political analyst, Mr Uche Ezechukwu, said the gesture of Jonathan by conceding defeat in defiance of reported pressures from close advisers was `historic’.
“This is the first time in the history of the country for an incumbent president to concede defeat. It might not be easy for ordinary minds to grasp.
“But the statesmanship of GEJ by conceding defeat in defiance of reported pressures from many of his close advisers has saved Nigeria.
“He is definitely a candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize. I thank God for him,’’ Ezechukwu said.
The Executive Director, Women in Peace and Leadership Network, Mrs Joy Onyeso, congratulated Buhari for his victory.
Onyeso appealed to the incoming president to give the women a priority in his administration.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that APC members in Enugu State led by the governorship candidate of the party in the state, Mr Okey Ezea staged a victory party at the Gen. Buhari’s campaign Organisation in Enugu.
NAN however, reports that the state is generally calm and peaceful.
In Lagos, some prominent lawyers in Lagos have praised Jonathan for calling Gen. Muhammadu Buhari on phone to concede defeat to him.
The lawyers told NAN said Jonathan displayed an uncommon statesmanship which had further deepened democracy in Nigeria.
The Chairman, Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Lagos branch, Mr Alex Mouka, said the defeat of the incumbent president by the opposition was a landmark in Nigeria’s electoral history.
“I must congratulate the incumbent president for conceding and calling to congratulate the president-elect.
“That is a very good omen and he displayed a statesmanlike manner,’’ Mouka said.
He, however, noted that there were still some issues which needed to be addressed for the country to achieve a better electoral process.
The NBA chairman also urged the Independent National Electoral Commission to investigate the complaints presented to it by the political parties to ensure a more credible electoral process.
Also, Mr Onyekachi Ubani, a former NBA Chairman in Ikeja, commended Nigerians for their resilience and commitment toward the entrenchment of true democracy in the country.
“We must appreciate Jonathan for being the one that laid this foundation of the revolution that has even now swept him out of office.
“But the good thing is that he will be remembered for laying this foundation for this revolution that has just taken place.
“For him to concede defeat and congratulate the president-elect means that he is on the verge of putting his name down in gold.
“This will become a reality if the president hands over on May 29 willingly to Buhari without any chaos or violence.
“That will be very fantastic and he will never be forgotten. His name will be etched in gold and he will become a statesman for this nation,” Ubani said.
Ubani further said that the outcome of the election had shown that power was being restored to the people through the ballot, adding that it was no longer business as usual for the politicians.
On his part, a law teacher, Mr Gbenga Ojo, commended the international community for prevailing on Nigeria’s leaders to accept the outcome of the election.
Ojo, who is of the Faculty of Law, Lagos State University, also commended the president for not plunging the country into chaos.
Every praise, every appreciation must go to the man they call Jonathan. He has displayed uncommon statesmanship far better than other leaders.
“No other president will accept going to his polling unit and the machine will fail to accredit him. But this man stood patiently and appealed to Nigerians to be calm.
“The man demonstrated first class statesmanship. To crown it all, he has accepted defeat without going to the tribunal. It is good for our democracy and it is good for him,’’ Ojo said.
Ojo, however, advised the president not to allow his party to prevail on him to go to court or issue statements that he would not accept the result.
According to him, there is substantial compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act and the irregularities are not enough to nullify the whole election.
He also urged INEC to perfect the use of the card readers, adding that the inability of the machine to read the fingerprints of the president was a huge embarrassment.
In Bauchi, APC senator-elect in Bauchi Southern, Alhaji Ali Wakili, has called on the president-elect to ensure that Nigeria remains united.
Wakili, who made the call in Bauchi, said that apart from fighting corruption, injustice, insecurity and unemployment, Buhari should ensure that Nigeria remained united.
“As an international figure, you must also stick to the wishes of the people who fought for a change and it came.
“Your victory is the will of the people and it is time for change and it is the will of the people, therefore, you must fight for the unity of the People,’’ Wakili said.
He commended the president-elect for the victory, and said that “you have a great task ahead of you.
“I also commend President Jonathan for the sportsmanship manner in which he had congratulated Buhari for his victory ahead of the announcement of the final results and declaration,’’ Wakili said