2019: Elections not declaration of war, says Buhari

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Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye and Fred Itua, Abuja

President Muhammadu Buhari has said elections should not be seen as declaration of war, rather, an opportunity to cement brotherliness and nationhood.
Buhari, who was represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, said this at former President Goodluck Jonathan’s book presentation, ‘My Transition Hours.’
He said: “In another 86 days, Nigerians will be electing new leaders in another general election. I call on all political leaders to see elections based on principles and aspirations that will outlive the nation.
“Elections should not be declaration of war,  rather, it should cement our brotherliness and nationhood.
“I want to openly, as I have done on several occasions, salute the statesmanship, sportsmanship, courage imbedded in the person of Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, who, in 2015, without any pressure, conceded defeat in the presidential election; even when the compilation of the results was still in progress. Your singular act of placing the call to me doused and calmed frayed nerves all over the country and I sincerely thank you for being a true democrat and a patriotic Nigerian.
“It is important to restate that in the run-up to the elections, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan and I were part of a pact to ensure that the 2015 general election were free and credible. The outcome of that election has placed Nigeria as  a leader of democracy in Africa. 
“In his desire for peace and non-violence, Jonathan kept reiterating that no Nigerian blood should be shed for selfish reason.
“With this book being launched today (yesterday), Nigerians, historians and scholars now have a personal account as to what transpired during the transitional hours. 
“As the fifth democratically-elected president, history will judge you well and favourably.  
“Looking at the last three years, my administration has demonstrated that service to Nigerians transcends party lines and political affiliations. That is, of course, the reason why my administration remains committed to serving the nation by completing different projects that was started by previous administrations.
“Let me express my personal appreciation for what you have done for this country. You are leader of the past, you are leader for now. Be rest assured,  you are leader of the future. You will rise again.”

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