The apex northern sociocultural group, Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has congratulated President Muhammadu Buhari over his reelection and further urged him to keep to his promise of unity the people and running an all inclusive government.
ACF in a statement issued and made available to newsmen in Kaduna shortly after the President was declared reelected said, the journey to this point has not been easy to the contestants, the electorate and other stakeholders. “However, with perseverance, resilience, determination and hard work by all in the electoral process, Nigeria has come to this successful end.
“ACF calls on President Buhari to ensure that the new administration keeps to its promise of strengthening our unity and inclusiveness in government, so that no section or group is left behind or left out”.
The statement signed by the National Publicity Secretary of the forum Muhammad Ibrahim Biu said, ” the 2019 Presidential election is another milestone in the nation’s election history in view of the keen contest between the two major contenders in the persons of President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR of All Progressive Congress (APC) and Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, GCON of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
“The successful conclusion of this election despite some of the ugly incidences witnessed in some parts of country in terms of ballot box snatching, killings, security challenges and other logistic problems, Nigerians have clearly demonstrated their resolve to move forward and consolidate the gains of multiparty democracy.
“Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), therefore, congratulates all Nigerians for their resilience, commitment and courage in exercising their civic responsibility amid challenges that are natural concomitant of such tasks and responsibilities.
“ACF equally congratulates President Muhammadu Buhari on his re-election as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in the just concluded 2019 Presidential election. Of equal importance, the ACF salutes the courage of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar for putting up a gallantry fight with an impressive performance in the presidential elections.
“The forum calls on Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of PDP as a committed democrat, who cherishes peaceful democratic transition to accept the will of the people, concede defeat and congratulate President Buhari on his well deserved victory at the just concluded elections, especially as there are credible evidence that the elections have been generally peaceful, free and fair. Such concession on the part of the main challenger would be in the overall interest of Nigeria and place him among global democrats.
“ACF equally urges other contestants to be magnanimous in accepting defeat and congratulate their opponents.ACF also commends the courage and firmness of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) under its able Chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, for not only the smooth and transparent conduct of the 2019 Presidential and National Assembly elections, but also for its refusal to be intimidated or cajoled by the initial logistic challenges which led to the postponement of the elections by one week and other unfortunate incidences.
“ACF particularly salutes the resilient Nigerians for their personal sacrifices to not only exercised their franchise by voting candidates of their choice but also to ensure that their votes got counted. We equally salutes other stakeholders, especially the National Peace Committee of General Abdussalami Abubakar, foreign and domestic election observers and many others for their wise counsel and commitment to peaceful election.
“We also commends the efforts of the security agencies for the difficult tasks of providing security cover to INEC officials, the electorates, foreign and domestic election observers. It was no mean sacrifice and determination coupled with prayers which made the exercise to come onto its own peacefully and successfully too. The appeal made by President Buhari to his supporters not to gloat or humiliate the opposition as victory is enough reward for their efforts is timely and appropriate.
ACF urges all Nigerians to demonstrate the same spirit and commitment in the March 9th Governorship and State Assembly Elections.