President-elect Muhammadu Buhari has hailed Nigerians for voting for him, promising to work hard in serving their interests.
Buhari also commended President Goodluck Jonathan for accepting defeat and congratulating him, saying it was a clear example of statesmanship.
The president-elect stated this during a press briefing this morning in Abuja shortly after his declaration by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as the winner of Saturday's presidential polls.
"At exactly 5:15pm this (Tuesday) evening President Jonathan called to congratulate me on my victory. For this I want all Nigerians to join me in congratulating and appreciating Mr President for his statesmanship," he said.
Buhari said "President Jonathan engaged in a spirited campaign and was a worthy opponent. I extend my hand of fellowship to him."
He said he looks forward to "meeting him soon as we plan the transition from one administration to another. He will receive nothing but understanding, cooperation and respect from me and my team."
He said Nigerians answered the call of history. "When the account of this fine moment is written, it will be said that it was the people themselves who led this nation to democracy," Buhari said.
"You stood in line patiently for hours in the sun, rain and then in the dark to cast your ballots. Even when the vote was extended to Sunday in some places, you still performed your civic duty. You did so peacefully. You voted with your heart. Your vote affirms that you believe Nigeria’s future can be better than what it is today," Buhari explained.
He said Nigerians voted for change and now change has come.
The declaration of INEC accurately reflects the will of the people, he said.
"I thank all Nigerians who have made this day possible. Our country has now joined the community of nations that have used the ballot box to peacefully change an incumbent President in a free and fair election," he said.
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