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Buhari Receives Certificate of Return, Vows To Tackle Insurgency
The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has presented a certificate of return to the President – elect, Muhammadu Buhari, winner of the recently concluded presidential election.
Buhari received the certificate, proof of his victory at the election, at a ceremony held at the International Conference Centre, Abuja, which was attended by officials of the electoral body and prominent opposition figures.
Buhari received the certificate from the INEC chairman, Attahiru Jega, at about 2.38 on Wednesday in company of the Vice President elect, Yemi Osibajo and his wife, Aisha.
Speaking at the ceremony, Jega thanked Nigerians for ensuring a peaceful conduct of the elections and expressed special appreciation to permanent and ad hoc staff of the commission for their contributions to the success of the polls.
He noted that there were more than 700 temporary staff of the commission involved in the presidential election and appealed to them to show even more commitment to the remaining elections.
The INEC chairman also called on Nigerians to exercise the same kind of decorum, orderliness and patience they exhibited in the presidential and National Assembly polls in subsequent ones.
Speaking after receiving his certificate of return, Buhari said he felt “honoured and humbled” about his election and promised that his administration would faithfully serve the people and never rule over them as if they were subservient to government.
Observing that the victory was not that of one man or a political party, he said the “it is a victory for Nigeria and all Nigerians.”
Apparently referring to the acrimonious campaign that attended the presidential election, the President – elect urged Nigerians to put the past behind and set political grievances aside to work together to move the country forward.
Buhari extended a hand of friendship and reconciliation to President Jonathan and his team, saying that he bore no one any ill feeling because of the election.
“Despite the rancour of the elections, I extend my hand of fellowship and reconciliation to President Jonathan and his team. I hereby wish to state that I have no ill will against anyone” he stated.
He described Jonathan as a great man who deserved the respect.
“Let me state clearly that President Jonathan has nothing to fear from me. Although we may not agree on the best way to govern the nation, he is a great Nigerian and still our President and deserves our support and utmost respect by virtue of the office he has held,” he stated
Setting out what the people can expect from his government, Buhari said that democracy and the rule of law would be truly established and that his administration will listen to the people and embrace hope.
Pledging to run a “just and principled government”, he promised that there would be no favouritism or considerations “based on ethnicity, religion, region, gender or social status.”
“I pledge myself and the government to the rule of law in which none shall be so above the law that they are not subject to its dictates and none so below it that they are not availed of its protection,” Buhari asserted.
He identified the major problems confronting Nigeria which would require immediate attention as insecurity, corruption and the economic decline occasioned by dwindling oil prices, and promised to do his best to tackle them.
Regarding the issue of insecurity and the insurgency group, Boko Haram, Buhari observed that it would a tough job to undertake but that the sect would soon learn of the government and people’s resolve to rid the nation of terrorism.
“There is no doubt that in tackling the insurgency we have a tough job to do. But I assure you that Bko Haram will soon know the strength of our collective will and commitment to rid this nation of terror and bring back peace and normalcy to all the affected places. We shall spare no effort until we defeat terrorism,” Buhari stated.
But he identified corruption as an evil worse than terrorism, observing that it attacks and destroys national institutions, distorts the economy and worsens the inequalities between the rich and the poor.
Ultimately, he said, corruption is capable of undermining democracy, and state in clear terms that his administration would not tolerate corruption.
Buhari went on to thank the international communities and countries that had stood by Nigeria and supported it in conducting a peaceful election.
He particularly expressed gratitude to President Barak Obama of the United States for his interventions and counsel and for sending the American Secretary of States to Nigeria to seek for peaceful elections.
The President elect also thanked leaders of the APC, including Bola Tinubu, Bisi Akande and John Oyegun, the party chairman for their support.