By Abiodun Alade
President-elect General Muhammadu Buhari has been receiving congratulatory messages from world leaders among who are the leaders of The United Kingdom, UK, France, Rwanda, Somalia and Niger Republic.
In their separate messages, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, President Francois Hollande of France, Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud, Rwandan leader Paul Kagame and Prime Minister of Niger, Mahamadou Issoufou congratulated General Muhammadu Buhari on his victory and Nigerians for conducting a credible election that would ensure a peaceful transfer of power from one elected administration to another.
Among those who visited to felicitate with General Buhari in Abuja on Wednesday were former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon, former Vice President and chieftain of APC, Atiku Abubakar and his wife Hajiya Titi Abubakar and the US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Linda Thomas-Greenfield and accompanied by US Ambassador to Nigeria, Ambassador James Entwistle, among others.
They all pledged their support and commitment to ensuring the success of the Buhari administration and for better relations between their countries and Nigeria.
Blair thumbs up Jonathan for conceding defeat
Mr Tony Blair, in a statement by Rianne Buter, his Senior Media Manager, congratulated Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd) on his victory and also hailed incumbent president Goodluck Jonathan for conceding defeat. Mr Blair also applauded “Nigeria’s strength and resilience as a country”.
He said, “I congratulate Muhammadu Buhari warmly on his election victory. I welcome wholeheartedly the statement from President Jonathan conceding the result. I also applaud the Nigerian people. It is an extraordinary sign of Nigeria’s strength and resilience as a country that there has been this election with its outcome accepted so clearly despite all the challenges Nigeria faces. It gives all of us who care about Nigeria great optimism and confidence in its future”.
US President Barack Obama has also praised President Goodluck Jonathan for conceding defeat in an election that he said showed “Nigeria’s commitment to democratic principles.”
Obama, in a statement issued from the White House said, “President Jonathan has placed his country’s interests first by conceding the election and congratulating president-elect (Muhammadu) Buhari on his victory. I look 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. The last few days have shown the world the strength of Nigeria’s commitment to democratic principles,” Obama said.
According to Obama, “by turning out in large numbers and sometimes waiting all day to cast their votes, Nigerians came together to decide the future of their country peacefully.
“I urge president-elect Buhari and President Jonathan to repeat their calls to their supporters to continue to respect the election outcomes, focus on unifying the country, and together lead Nigeria through a peaceful transition”.
Obama also praised Nigeria’s Independent National Election Commission (INEC) and its chairman, which he said “deserve special recognition for what independent international observers have deemed a largely peaceful and orderly vote.”
In his response to the various leaders, General Buhari thanked the international community for working with Nigerians in providing the atmosphere that helped to bring about change through elections in the country.
He promised to work with the international community to restore Nigeria’s full commitment and obligations to the international system
This is democracy, Nigeria’s finest moment
The National leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu has described the victory of the presidential candidate of the party, Gen Muhammadu Buhari as Nigeria’s finest moment in political history.
Reacting to the victory of the candidate in last Saturday’s polls, the former governor of Lagos State said: “It is a moment when hope is re-born, faith is rekindled and a fresh fire of patriotism is released for the task ahead. I congratulate General Buhari, Nigeria’s President elect on his hard won victory.
“I salute our gallant party leaders and members for running the long distance to victory. To millions of Nigerians I say this- the APC seeks not power for its sake, but for the purpose of bringing a better life to our people and re-building our country.
“This is also democracy’s finest moment. Nigerians alive today have witnessed the beginning of an era of change. They made this happen and they are the true celebrants and they are deserving.
“Together we share this victory. Side by side we would work together to bring our country back.”
Ekweremadu congratulates Buhari
Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu has also congratulated Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, rtd, for emerging victorious in the election.
Senator Ekweremadu in his reaction commended President Goodluck Jonathan for conceding victory to General Buhari, noting that such “unprecedented show of statesmanship had gone a long way in rewriting the history of the nation’s democracy and ensuring post-election peace and security of Nigeria.”
According to him, “Whichever way we look at the 2015 presidential election, the real winner is Nigeria, and the greatest beneficiaries are Nigerians and our democracy, especially our electoral system.
“I congratulate General Buhari who no doubt has the experience, popular support, and goodwill to continue with the transformation process, and commend President Goodluck Jonathan for not only bequeathing the legacy of reformed electoral process, but also leading by example in the quest for the post-election stability, peace, security, and harmony of Nigeria.”
He commended Nigerians, whom he said, had “proved the prophets of doom wrong and reaffirmed their commitment to the peace and unity of the Nigerian nation.”
The Deputy Senate President in his reaction contained in a statement signed by his Special Adviser, Media, Uche Anichukwu said, “Nigeria is bigger than everyone of us, and we must all rise beyond all political, ethnic, religious, and sectional differences to support the incoming administration to move Nigeria forward.”
Dame Jonathan congratulates Aisha Buhari
Wife of President Goodluck Jonathan, Patience, has formally congratulated her successor, Hajia Aisha Buhari, wife of the President-elect on her husband’s victory during the Saturday’s presidential election.
In a statement by her media aide, Ayo Adewuyi, Mrs. Jonathan appealed to Nigerian women to support Mrs. Buhari in order to succeed in her new job.
Part of the statement: “The First Lady Dame Patience Jonathan (Mama Peace) has congratulated the wife of the President-elect, Hajia Aisha Buhari on the election of her husband, General Muhammadu Buhari.
“The First Lady appeals to the Nigerian women to work with Hajia Aisha Buhari and give her the maximum support to make her succeed in her new assignment.
“The First Lady (Mama Peace) wishes her well in her new task.”
Mo Ibrahim commends Nigerians
Sudan-born international businessman and chairman of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, Dr Mo Ibrahim has commended Nigeria and President Goodluck Jonathan on the outcome of last Saturday’s presidential election.
In a statement issued in London yesterday, Dr Ibrahim said that “the news from Nigeria today is wonderful,”adding that all Africans, by the development, “are all proud of Nigeria and President Jonathan.”
The statement reads in full:
“The news from Nigeria today is wonderful. Africa’s largest country has concluded a peaceful election process. Furthermore, the incumbent has already gracefully conceded and congratulated his successor – a first for Nigeria and a benchmark for other African countries to follow.
“Today, we Africans are all proud of Nigeria and President Jonathan.
“Thank you Mr President. If you are seeking a legacy, you have definitely achieved it.”
It will be recalled that Dr Ibrahim, a telecoms engineer and businessman, did business in Nigeria when his company bought over Vee Networks and renamed it Celtel Nigeria. Celtel was later in turn acquired by Zain, another GSM network owned by Gulf investors, which again was taken over Bharti Airtel of India, owned by business magnate, Sunil Bharti.
In 2005 after Dr Ibrahim sold Celtel for $3.4 billion, he set up the Mo Ibrahim Foundation to encourage better governance in Africa.
He also set up the Mo Ibrahim Index to evaluate governance in African nations, and in 2007 created the Mo Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership, which awards a $5 million initial payment, and a $200,000 annual payment for life to African heads of state who deliver security, health, education and economic development to their constituents and democratically transfer power to their successors.