By Michael Eboh
The Nigerian Institute of Public Relations, NIPR, yesterday, commended President Muhammadu Buhari, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and the other 71 presidential candidates for their peaceful disposition during the election and for effectively managing the outcome.
In a statement in Abuja, President and Chairman of the Governing Council of the NIPR, Mr. Mukhtar Sirajo, also applauded the security agencies for preventing a breakdown of law and order and for ensuring that lives and property were adequately secured.
He urged all aggrieved candidates to follow laid down processes for challenging results, while also commending Atiku Abubakar for his decision to utilise constitutional means in challenging the results, rather than encouraging violence.
Sirajo said: “The NIPR congratulates the people of Nigeria on the successful conclusion of the 2019 Presidential Election.
“We are pleased to note that for the first time in Nigeria, 73 candidates contested for the coveted Office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. This is a remarkable testimony that our democracy is becoming more popular and attractive.
“The high number of candidates is also a clear demonstration of the increased confidence, interest and willingness of citizens to contribute at the highest level in the development of the nation. We commend the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, for showing considerable capacity in managing such high number of presidential candidates.
“We congratulate His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), who was declared winner by the INEC.
‘’We also congratulate His Excellency, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, as well as the other 71 candidates and their political parties, not only for their spirited efforts but also for towing the path of peace in managing the outcomes of the elections.
“We encourage any aggrieved candidates or parties to follow the processes provided within the laws of the federation in challenging the results. That is also an essential element of democracy.
‘’We commend the main opposition candidate, His Excellency Alhaji Atiku Abubakar for opting to follow the process of the rule of law rather than allowing his followers resort to violence.
“At the end of the day, the interest of the Federal Republic of Nigeria should remain paramount.
‘’We urge Mr. President to walk his talk of running an inclusive government, by taking decisive and urgent steps towards national reconciliation, integration and unity. May we always be reminded that, ‘though tribe and creed may differ in brotherhood we stand’.
“Being the foremost professional Institute responsible for regulating, nurturing, grooming, promoting and deploying appropriate public relations expertise in Nigeria, we urge the federal government to always take advantage of this vital tool in refining and enhancing the image and reputation of the country.”