By John Shiklam in Kaduna
The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has called on former Vice President and the presidential candidate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, to concede defeat and congratulate the President Muhammadu, winner of the just concluded presidential election.
The forum, in a statement on Wednesday in Kaduna, by its spokesman, Muhammad Ibrahim, said as a committed democrat, Atiku should accept defeat and congratulate Buhari.
During the presidential campaigns, the ACF had endorsed Buhari as its preferred candidate.
“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” the statement said.
According to the ACF: “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 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 gallant fight with an impressive performance in the presidential elections”.
The forum noted that the 2019 Presidential election was another milestone in the nation’s election history in view of the keen contest between Buhari and Atiku, stressing that successful conclusion of the 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.
The statement commended the INEC chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, for not only conducting a smooth and transparent elections, but also for his refusal to be intimidated or cajoled by the initial logistic challenges which led to the postponement of the elections by one week.
The statement further commended security agencies for providing security cover to INEC officials, the electorates, foreign and domestic election observers.
The forum urged Buhari to ensure that the new administration keeps to its promise of strengthening unity and inclusiveness in government, so that no section or group is left out.