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The World Waits For Jonathan To Concede

After Nigeria’s most hotly contested election in decades and a fourth attempt, General Muhammadu Buhari has virtually emerged winner of ...

After Nigeria’s most hotly contested election in decades and a fourth attempt, General Muhammadu Buhari has virtually emerged winner of the 2015 presidential poll from results officially released this morning by the Independent National Electoral Commission in Abuja.

This result did not come as a surprise to this newspaper. We have said consistently for at least three years now that President Goodluck Jonathan’s government stopped governing almost as soon as it was inaugurated on May 6, 2010.

The government was possessed of a deadly combination of incompetence, corruption and clannishness, which made Nigeria not only a laughing stock, but something worse: an endangered country. Neither the election of 2011, which gave Jonathan the opportunity for a fresh start, nor the massive oil subsidy unrests of 2012, which almost brought the government down was seized as a moment of renewal.

Nigerians from all tongues and tribes who rallied Jonathan in his early days in office and even gave him the benefit of the doubt after several alarming missteps, watched as the country slipped and divisions festered. Saturday, March 28 was the day of reckoning. In a robust, historic election, voters have made their voices clear: they want change.

That voice resonated in Aso Rock Villa where results officially released showed, for the first time, that Jonathan lost the two polling units in the villa, his compound for the last five years.

In accordance with the wishes and aspirations of Nigerians eloquently expressed in the March 28 ballot, we call General Muhammadu Buhari winner of the 2015 presidential election and congratulate him.

We now call on President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan to do the needful. In line with his oft-repeated statesmanlike promises that his office is not worth the blood of any single Nigerian, we call on him to graciously concede defeat without further delay.

He may have lost the vote, but in our view, he can win the contest for a solid legacy. This election will go down in history as the first one where significant efforts were made to improve the voting process and to make it as free, fair and transparent as possible.

That is part of Jonathan’s indelible legacy. But to claim and secure this legacy, he must find the courage to rise above the tide of self-interested and dangerous aides around him and recognise that concession now is the highest service he can give to his fatherland.

We congratulate the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for successfully conducting the poll, in spite of few hitches and in the face of extreme provocation, verging on sabotage.

Finally, we call on the winner, General Muhammadu Buhari and his party, the All Progressives Congress, to be magnanimous in victory and to remember that if any thing, the message in the victory is a reflection of the amount of work that lies ahead.

Success in that work needs all parties on board.

Nigeria has won. Now, let the work begin.
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