Lagos – Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar said on Thursday that Gen. Muhammadu Buhari ran a spirited campaign and fully deserved the victory he got at the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential primary.
“You ran a spirited campaign, and since the delegates have spoken, you fully deserve the victory,’’ Atiku said in his concession speech after losing to Buhari in the election.
He said that he was confident that Buhari would provide the needed leadership to turn the country around.
“My dear friends, we have voted; a winner has emerged.
“I pledge my commitment to this party, and to campaign vigorously for our candidate, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, and all APC candidates to ensure victory in the 2015 elections.
“I call on all other contestants and our party’s rank and file to unite behind our candidates at all levels to ensure that the PDP is defeated,’’ Atiku said.
He said that he had no doubt that Buhari would work with dedicated and qualified Nigerians to protect citizens, improve the nation’s economy, create jobs, improve education, reform governance and fight corruption.
Atiku also congratulated the other contestants: Governors Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso and Rochas Okorocha as well as Mr Sam Nda-Isiah.
“You have all demonstrated your commitment to democracy by participating in this transparent process and by campaigning vigorously across this country,’’ he said.
Atiku thanked the delegates for their sacrifices and commitment to democracy, urging them to rally behind Buhari to help him prevail in the coming presidential election.
He thanked the Convention Committee for putting together a hitch-free convention.
“The APC has demonstrated, through the transparent process, the party’s commitment to democracy and rule of law.
“It has demonstrated its respect for people and their choice through the ballot box,’’ he said.
Okorocha, who also congratulated Buhari for the victory, said the APC had shown that internal democracy could be achieved within a political party.
Kwankwaso equally congratulated Buhari for becoming the winner, saying the aspirants had earlier agreed to work together with whoever came out victorious in the primary.
Meanwhile, some people at the Teslim Balogun Stadium venue also spoke on the outcome of the presidential primary.
Mrs Ireti Ojekhoa, Head, Electronic Unit, Buhari Support Organisation (BSO), said that she was elated that Buhari emerged the winner of the primary.
Ojekhoa said that all the candidates were credible but Buhari was the most credible to occupy such a position and lead the country to greatness.
“Looking at his history, Buhari is the best man for the job,” she said.
Mr Okelo Madukaife, a delegate from Anambra, told NAN that the organisation of the convention was orderly and free of bias.
According to Madukaife, there is no loser in the election, and the only real winner is the APC.
“APC has thrown open its doors and given every aspirant the opportunity to contest fairly in an election for a good cause,” he said.
Mr Jacob Meduteni, a delegate from Kogi, said that he was happy about the outcome, adding that he did not expect anything less.
“Buhari is first among equals. We have all seen the fairness in conducting the election. So, there is no cause for other contestants to decamp because they lost.
“They should embrace the flag bearer and support him to reach the presidency,” he said.
Mr Sample Onyemuru, a delegate from Abia, said that it was a very successful convention.
“The quality of people that came out for the convention shows that there is value added to it,’’he said. (NAN)