The Nigerian people have spoken, and they have elected General Muhammadu Buhari. I offer him my warmest congratulations on his electoral success.
At the same time, I wish to express great appreciation to President Goodluck Jonathan for his service to the nation and for accepting the electoral outcome in a democratic spirit.
My congratulations go as well to Professor Attahiru Jega and the Independent National Electoral Commission for their extraordinary efforts to ensure that the elections were held in a transparent manner as well for ensuring that most Nigerians had the opportunity to cast their vote.
My thanks extend as well as to the many thousands of poll workers, electoral observers, party agents and civil society organisations who helped to ensure that these elections succeeded despite many difficulties.
I also commend the security services for ensuring security and calm during the electoral process.
The Nigerian people have exercised their democratic rights. Despite the threat from Boko Haram, voters came out to cast their votes. At some polling stations, even though they were attacked, voters came back to vote. That shows the determination of the people of Nigeria to have a say in how they are governed, and by whom.
I hope, therefore, that the will of the people will not be marred by violence in the days ahead. I call on all Nigerians to respect the results and seek redress, if need be, through appropriate and peaceful means.
The president elect will assume office at a difficult juncture in Nigerias fortunes. He will need the support of every Nigerian and the international community to steer the country through these turbulent times. To do so, he must govern as the president of all Nigerians, and avoid any winner-takes-all tendency, while also respecting the role of the opposition.
I wish President-elect Buhari and the Nigerian people every success as they embark on their journey of national renewal.
Chair of the Kofi Annan Foundation