By Amuda Dan Sulaiman Fab
The President-elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has condemned what he described as ethic slurs, physical and verbal attacks during and aftermath of the just concluded elections in some states.
Tinubu, however, promised to give “priority to expanding the civic space and safeguarding citizens’ freedom to exercise their rights within the bounds of the law.”
In statement he personally signed Tuesday in Abuja, the former Lagos state governor said elections should be a celebration of maturing democracy and freedom of choice and ought not to be moments of grief.
He said: “The physical and verbal assaults committed are unacceptable and antithetical to democratic ethos.
I am particularly pained by cases of ethnic slurs, which are capable of creating needless mis-characterisation reported in some locations.
“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.
“As former governor of Lagos State, I can attest to the strength in our diversity and togetherness. As your President-elect, it is that spirit of inclusiveness we engendered in Lagos that I intend to bring into national governance so that together we can attain our full potentials.
“Indeed, the elections are over. The people have voted to elect their governors and state legislators that will serve them for the next four years. The time for leadership and governance is now upon us.
“In a democracy, majority would have their way but that majority must not suppress the minority from having their say. As democrats, we have to safeguard free expression. Winners must be magnanimous and those who did not win should have a large heart for tolerance and respect for the greater interest of the nation.”
While promising to be a worthy partner to all Nigerians, Tinubu said “the only way to justify the trust and confidence of the people and the mandate entrusted in us is to commit ourselves to the service of the people. We must all work diligently and sincerely to make life better for the masses. As elected officers, we have no other assignment than to be burden-bearers for the masses and ensure they have better life that we promised during the campaigns.
“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 the 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.”