President Muhammadu Buhari has told other contestants in the presidential race to bring evidence to prove their claims of manipulated results.
According to the president, the results revealed democracy’s ripening in the country, because it has never happened in one cycle of election for the electoral map to shift in the manner it did.
The president, while congratulating the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, (APC), Bola Tinubu for winning the 2023 Presidential Election, said: “there is no doubt the people’s decision has been rendered in the results we look at today.”
It was reports that President Buhari who spoke through a statement by his media aide, Garba Shehu on Wednesday morning noted that competition was good for democracy.
He said “I know some politicians and candidates may not agree with this view. That too is fine. If any candidate believes they can prove the fraud they claim is committed against them, then bring forward the evidence.
“If they cannot, then we must conclude that the election was indeed the people’s will – no matter how hard that may be for the losers to accept. If they feel the need to challenge, please take it to the courts, not to the streets.
“Within Nigeria, the results reveal democracy’s ripening in our country. Never has the electoral map shifted so drastically in one cycle. In the presidential elections, states in all regions across the nation changed colour.
“Some amongst you may have noticed my home state amongst them. The winning candidate did not carry his own home state either. That happens during a competitive election. Votes and those that cast them cannot be taken for granted. Each must be earned.”
While admitting that there were hitches in the exercise the president said issues registered didn’t pose any challenge to the freeness and fairness of the elections.
The president said “For instance, there were technical problems with the electronic transmission of the results. Of course, there will be areas that need work to bring further transparency and credibility to the voting procedure.”
He also called on the other contenders to ensure peace saying “I call on all candidates to remember the peace pledge they signed just days before the election. Do not undermine the credibility of INEC. Let us now move forward as one. The people have spoken.”