By Nigerians Abroad staff writer
“I want to thank Nigerians for the great sacrifice and overwhelming national mandate you have just given to me, to preside over the affairs of this nation for the next four years,” Nigeria’s president elect, Goodluck Jonathan said in his acceptance speech after being formally declared by the country’s electoral commission chairperson, Attahiru Jega as president elect.
According to INEC, Jonathan, candidate of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) polled 22,495,187 million votes, representing 58.89 per cent to defeat his closest rival, Muhammadu Buhari of the Congress of Progressive Change (CPC) who polled votes 12,214,853 million votes, representing 31.98 per cent. Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) candidate, Nuhu Ribadu polled 2,079,151 million, 5.41 per cent to take a distance third position.
Although adjudged the most credible election since 1999 by various international monitoring groups — not withstanding unfortunate logistic problems and observable irregularities — , results of the presidential election shows a divided nation, between north and south of the country, a trend that worries political watchers including, the elected president.
Few hours before the final announcement of the election results by INEC and sensing that the CPC candidate, Muhammadu Buhari is about to lose his most promising chance to rule over Nigeria, supporters, mostly youth in some northern cities of the country resulted into violent protest, by targeting supporters of the ruling party, anyone suspected to be from south the country and members of Nigeria’s Youth Service Corps.
The president quickly called on religious and political leaders from the region to ask their “followers to eschew all acts of bitterness and violence” due to individuals political ambition, which doesn’t worth the blood of any Nigerian.
One Nation Under God
Jonathan in his acceptance speech, appeal to Nigerians, especially those that might have opposed his candidacy and victory to support him in establishing true democracy.
“We have, by this election, reaffirmed our unity as one nation under God; reiterated our faith in democracy; and underscored our determination to fully join the free world where only the will of the people is the foundation of governance. We will not let you down. We will not let Nigeria down.”
“My brothers and sisters, fellow citizens, we are all winners. In this context, there is no victor and no vanquished. Nigerians have proved to the world that we are capable of holding free, fair and credible elections. With the evident national spread of our victory, we have demonstrated that even in our diversity, the progress of Nigeria remains paramount to all.”
Detail of presidential poll results published by INEC shows that Jonathan polled Constitutional requirement of two-thirds or 25 percent of votes across 31 states, as opposed to his rivals, whose recored victories in certain regions.
A New Nigerian Project
Having had the opportunity to understand issues at stake in Nigerian politics, Jonathan is expected to move swiftly in addressing the nation’s nagging challenges, which includes its corrupt values system.
“Together we will build a new economy that is strong and dynamic and underpinned by a patriotic work ethic. Together we will remake our society to emphasize the most noble of our national values, and together we shall recreate a great nation welded in unity and harmony; a nation marching towards collective progress in which no one is left behind.”
“This election is the renewal of hope. As we march towards our centenary as a nation in the year 2014, this election will be remembered as that which reaffirmed our faith and strengthened the bond of our union. We found within ourselves the basis for our national confidence. We demonstrated that we are making great strides in consolidating democratic governance. This election is further evidence that Nigeria is secure, that we are stable; and most of all, that the future of Nigeria is bright.”
“Now, we must all unite. We must quickly move away from partisan battlegrounds and find the national common ground. We must show the world that this nation of many people will always find the love, the courage and the path to move forward as one. Let us join hands to build a prosperous nation. This is the challenge of our generation. This is our unfinished task. On my part, I promise to run an all-inclusive government,” Jonathan said.
Meanwhile, the president elect still have a major barrier to cross, as representatives of the opposition parties, including the CPC and ACN refused to sign results sheet of the presidential poll, when called upon to do so on Monday night by INEC.
The Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), whose candidate in the presidential poll was Buhari, has rejected declared results, mostly from southern regions of the country and formally petitioned the electoral commission.
“Based on credible information received and intelligence reports in the areas mentioned, we formally write to reject the entire results presented from Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Rivers, Bayelsa, Delta, Edo; Abia, Anambra, Enugu and Ebonyi, states. Others include Ekiti, Ogun, Osun, Lagos, Sokoto, Kaduna, Jigawa, Gombe, Yobe, Zamfara, Adamawa, Nasarawa states and FCT,” CPC national chairperson, Prince Tony Momoh said.
Goodluck Jonathan will be sworn in as Nigeria’s 4th president and commander-in-chief, for a four years term on Sunday, May 29.