Nigeria: For the Record - Buhari's Full Speech After Receiving Certificate of Return

President Muhammadu Buhari.
27 February 2019

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Wednesday issued a certificate of return to President Muhammodu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo having won the 2019 presidential election that took place on Saturday, February 23.

Mr Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC) scored the highest votes in the 2019 presidential election polling 15,191,847 votes. His closest challenger and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) polled 11,262,978 votes.

The result of all 36 states and Abuja was declared at the INEC collation centre in Abuja on Wednesday.

The PDP and its candidate, Mr Abubakar rejected the results saying they were manipulated. Mr Abubakar has vowed to contest the outcome of the election in court.

However, on Wednesday afternoon, INEC presented the certificate of return to Mr Buhari and Mr Osinbajo.

Read the full statement of Mr Buhari after receiving the certificate:

I am grateful to God for sparing our lives to witness another milestone in Nigeria's democratic development, namely conclusion of the Presidential election in an overwhelmingly peaceful manner.

I wish, Mr Chairman, to congratulate all the Presidential candidates and their teams on a hard-fought campaign. We may have had different views during the campaign, but the one thing most of us have in common is love of our country and our desire to improve conditions for Nigerians.

From the comments of several observers both local and foreign, it is obvious that the elections were both free and fair.

Now that the elections are over, and a winner declared, we must all see it as a victory for Nigeria, our dear country. That was why I encouraged my teeming supporters, in a speech I read earlier today, not to gloat. Our God-given victory is enough cause for joy, without deriding those who were in the opposition. All Nigerians, going forward, must stand in brotherhood, for a bright and fulfilling future.

I, therefore, want to assure that we will continue to engage all parties that have the best interest of Nigerians at heart. Our Government will remain inclusive and our doors will remain open. That is the way to build the country of our dream; safe, secure, prosperous, and free of impunity and primitive accumulation by those entrusted with public offices.

The hard work to deliver a better Nigeria continues, building on the foundations of peace, rule of law and opportunities for all. We will roll up our sleeves afresh, and give it our all. We have no other motive than to serve Nigeria with our hearts and might, and build a nation which we and generations to come can be proud of.

I am very grateful to the over 15 million citizens who voted for me, those who contributed in many ways in the running of our successful campaign, and those at home and abroad who expressed confidence in me and the APC Government. I thank you all.

"I can assure that you will see a country moving to the Next Level, as we consolidate on our fundamental areas of securing the country, reviving the economy, and fighting corruption. Many other focal areas, as stated in our campaign manual, will be added, to the good things we plan for our country.

Let me pay tribute here to those who lost their lives either through accidents or mindless violence during the course of these elections. My heart and thoughts are with the families of the victims. May God comfort and give them the fortitude to bear the loss.

Election is not war, and should never be seen as a do or die affair. I pray that we all accept this democratic approach to elections, however contentious.

Thank you all and may God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

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