Bola Tinubu, the president-elect, says it is time for Nigerians to rise above the ethnic polarisation rampant during the elections and instead embrace nation-building.
TInubu made this announcement in a statement released on Tuesday. He encouraged Nigerians to rise above the differences that emanated from the poll and embrace nation-building, championing the healing process to unite the country.
“Elections should be a celebration of our maturing democracy and freedom of choice and ought not to be moments of grief, he said. “I am particularly pained by cases of ethnic slurs, which can create needless mischaracterisation reported in some locations.”
Before and during the elections, ethnic slurs and profiling were the trend in Nigeria, especially on various social media platforms.
Tinubu said the physical and verbal assaults committed are unacceptable and antithetical to democratic ethos.
“I’m saddened by the reported isolated infractions during the elections and its aftermath in some states. I strongly condemn it. Also, the report of arson after the announcement of governorship results in one state did not represent who we truly are: peace-loving people,” the statement reads.
“My appeal is for us to rise above our differences, which, in reality, are fewer than the valued strings that bind us together as a people irrespective of the circumstances of our births.
Furthermore, he congratulated all the elected governors, lawmakers and also assured the Nigerian polity that the dividends of democracy will be shared equitably.
Read also: Ethnicization of elections in Nigeria
“With the conclusion of the Governorship and State Houses of Assembly elections, I congratulate all the elected governors and assembly members for earning the mandate of the people,” the president-elect said. “Consolidating democratic governance at the sub-national level will bring more development and improved quality of life to the masses. The more we entrench and consolidate the gains of our democratic venture across the length and breadth of our country, the more our people benefit in terms of dividends of democracy and good governance.”
“As elected officers, we have no other assignment than to be burden-bearers for the masses and ensure they have the better life that we promised during the campaigns,” he said. “We must all work diligently and sincerely to make life better for the masses.”
“We must take urgent steps to unite the people; those who voted for us and those who did not. We must champion the healing process by embracing the opponents and their supporters. As I have stated previously, the time for politicking is gone. This is time for nation-building, a task beyond one individual or a section of society. We need every hand from wherever it may come to be on deck.
“I am ready to work with you all as your president. I will be a worthy partner you can trust and rely on as we all bond together, in unity of purpose and renewed hope for, the betterment of our blessed country and beloved people,” he said.