Former Head of State, Abdulsalami Abubakar, the chairman of the Peace Accord Committee has applauded President Goodluck Jonathan for conceding defeat and congratulating his opponent, the All Progressives Congress’s candidate, Muhammadu Buhari.
The chairman of the committee Abubakar, who spoke to journalists after a closed-door meeting with the President, said the committee was spellbound when Mr. Buhari informed them that Mr. Jonathan had called to congratulate him.
“We were at the middle of a meeting with the international observers to try to see how we can still water the tension down, when gladly I called Gen. Buhari that we are going to see him,” Mr. Abubakar said. “He told me that Mr. President has called him at about 5:15 p.m. and congratulated him and conceded defeat.
“We were spellbound and the reason we have come here is to thank President Jonathan for this statesmanship. In the history of Nigeria?,? I think this is the first time where a contestant has called his rival to congratulate him and through this point, President Jonathan maintained a point that the blood of Nigerians is not worth his presidency and by his action he has proved that.
“He has proved that he is a man of his word? because during our interaction on this peace committee he has always maintained that he is going to accept the result of the elections whichever way it is done. And he has proved this.”
He further appealed to politicians to accept the state of things as the president has already conceded defeat.
“I think we need Nigerians, all of us, to join hands in making sure we assist him in the peaceful handing over,” Mr. Abubakar said. “And I will appeal to all politicians;? ?those who are celebrating and those who are sorrowing to please give peace a chance?;? to be moderate. In any contest there is always going to be a winner and President Jonathan has accepted that he lost and we want to thank him.”
Ha thanked the President on behalf of Nigerians “for being the statesman that he is”?.?
“He has approved that he is a statesman and he has the love of this country in his heart,”Mr. Abubakar said. “So Nigerians should please help him to ensure this is real.”
He urged aggrieved Nigerians to seek redress through the law.
“The electoral laws have procedures for ?seeking re-address,” he said. “So if anybody has ?any grievance he should apply through the law. I appeal again to our youth, to everybody to please give peace a chance and accept that the chief contestant himself has accepted. So nobody please go and raise any eyebrow and cause any destabilization of this country.”
Others at the meeting include: Ubitu Ukiwe, former President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Priscilla Kuye, Catholic Archbishop, John Onaiyekan, Primate of Anglican Communion, Nicholas Okoh and Aliko Dangote.
The peace committee had previously met with the President as well as the APC candidate, before the elections and had ensured that both parties sign a peace accord, to ensure peace in the event of defeat on each side.