Bola Tinubu has thanked voters across partisan divide who participated in last Saturday’s presidential election, including the supporters of his fiercest opponents.
He expressed his appreciation in his acceptance speech after the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared him president-elect in the early hours of Wednesday.
Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) emerged victorious in the presidential election ahead of Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Peter Obi of the Labour Party, who came second and third, respectively.
“Whether you are Batified or Atikulated, Obidients, Kwankwasiyya or have any other political affiliation, you voted and struggled for a better Nigeria, more hopeful nation and I thank you for you participation and dedication to our democracy.
“You decided to place your trust in the democratic vision of a Nigerian founded on a shared prosperity and one nurtured by the ideas of unity, justice, peace and tolerance,” Tinubu said in his acceptance speech.
The President-elect’s teeming supporters are popularly referred to as ‘Batified’, according to his initials — Bola Ahmed Tinubu — much like those of Atiku and Obi.
The former governor of Lagos State also extended an olive branch to his fellow contestants, asking them to join hands with him to build the country together.
“I take this opportunity to appeal to my fellow contestants to let us team up together. It is the only nation we have. It is one country and we must build together,” he said.
The President-elect thanked his party’s leaders and all those that worked hard for his election, including President Muhammadu Buhari.
Seventy-year-old Tinubu won in 12 of Nigeria’s 36 states, and garnered significant numbers in several other states, to claim the highest number of votes — 8,794,726, almost two million votes more than Atiku got.
Contesting for the sixth time, Atiku got 6,984,520 votes, while Obi of the Labour Party finished the race with 6,101,533.