President Muhammadu Buhari has led other prominent Nigerians and groups in congratulating Yahaya Bello, candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) over his victory in the Kogi State governorship election conducted on Saturday.
The ruling APC also congratulated Governor Bello, who was declared winner of the election on Monday by Professor Ibrahim Umar, the Returning Officer for the election,
Read Also: INEC Declares APC’s Bello Winner Of Kogi Guber Election
According to Umar, Governor Bello polled a total number of 406,222 votes to defeat his closest rival, Musa Wada of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who garnered 189,704 votes.
President Buhari in his congratulatory message, which was published on his Twitter handle on Monday, urged the governor-elect to see the renewal of his mandate for another fours years as an opportunity to serve the Kogi citizens.
“It was a race well run and a victory well won. I urge him to see his renewed mandate as another opportunity to build on the foundations already laid towards improving the lives of the people of Kogi State.
The president, however, condemned the violence recorded during the election and expressed his sympathy to the relatives of the victims.
“The violence that took place, and loss of lives, by thugs doing the bidding of their political sponsors, is condemnable. There is no room in our democracy for electoral violence.
“I commiserate with the families and loved ones of all those who lost their lives. All political actors and stakeholders must take deliberate steps to eschew electoral violence as a peaceful and orderly process is vital to our quest for enduring democracy,” the statement read.
President Buhari commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the security agencies for their conduct during the election, noting that they worked under what he described as “difficult conditions”.
While pledging to work with the incoming government, the president urged Governor-elect Bello to be magnanimous in victory.
“Let me enjoin Governor Bello to imbibe the spirit of magnanimity in victory by extending a hand of partnership to opposition candidates, and also ask that all those dissatisfied with the outcome of the election should, in seeking redress, approach the courts,” the statement read.
In the same vein, Abdulahi Bello, the Kogi State APC Chairman, also felicitated with Governor Bello on his re-election, describing the victory as “well deserved”.
The Kogi APC Chairman stated that the ruling party did its homework properly and was rewarded accordingly.
“Considering the efforts put in place by APC during electioneering campaigns, we are not surprised that victory is achieved today,” he said.
On the failure of the PDP agent to sign the result sheet, Bello said the PDP was attempting to make a molehill out of a mountain, claiming that the opposition party knew the could not win the election.
According to him, the PDP failed to campaign extensively across the state during the electioneering process.
“It shows that they are good politicians who know their areas of strength and weakness and decided to restrict themselves to his area of strength,” Bello said.