The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Wednesday presented Certificate of Return to President-elect, Sen. Bola Tinubu and Vice President-elect, Kashim Shettima.
INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, presented the president-elect and vice with the certificate.
Receiving the certificate, Tinubu urged his opponents and all Nigerians to work with him to make Nigeria a great nation.
“For this to be a victory at all, it cannot simply be a victory for one man or even one party. It must become a victory for all Nigerians who are committed to a greater society.
“I know many did not vote for me and you are disappointed that your candidate is not where I now stand. I understand your hurt. To you, I extend the embrace and comfort of one family member to another.
“This great project called Nigeria beckons to us all. It is bigger and more important than any partisan divide.
“To my supporters, I ask you to continue to have faith in the mission that we have articulated.
“To those who didn’t support me, I ask that you do not allow the disappointment of this moment to keep you from realizing the historic national progress,” Tinubu said.
He said that the citizens can make the country great by joining hands and hearts in common endeavor to pull the nation through.
“In a phrase, I am asking you to work with me. I may be the president-elect but I need you. More importantly, Nigeria needs you.
“My heart and my doors are open to you. I ask you to come in so that we may begin the task of rebuilding our national home together, day by day, brick by brick.
“Where there is poverty, let us create prosperity and jobs. Where there is hunger, let us feed the people, chasing hunger from their midst.
“Where there is now scarcity, let us rediscover abundance. Where there is brutality, may we replace it with brotherhood.
“Where violence stalks the land, may we establish peace. Where others have erected temples to hatred and bias, may we construct permanent monuments to compassion and abiding affection,” Tinubu added.
The president-elect said that the road has been long and battle had been hard fought, but more importantly, he realize that he was just a servant of a larger purpose.
He said that his certificate of return represented a collective democratic attainment, pledging to assume a sacred duty he shall never ignore.
“You see, this is more than a document confirming the positive outcome of an election.
“This important document symbolizes our collective democratic attainment and even loftier aspirations. It represents the impending transfer of a most sacred duty and trust from one person to another.”
Tinubu added that the certificate also symbolises that each citizen has the ability to achieve what others believe was impossible for them to achieve.
“I stand before you the president-elect. And yes, that is special. But, I am no different than anyone of you. If I can do this. You can do better. You must do better.
“Our destiny as a people and nation depends on our ability to shed the artificial restrictions of bias and prejudice so that we live fully unto our democratic creed that no one is innately superior or entitled to greater rights and opportunities than any other Nigeria.”
He expressed confidence that very soon, Nigeria shall witness a young person standing before them holding the same certificate he described as a great symbol of democracy and national leadership.
“We shall see a woman standing before you, holding this certificate . We shall experience someone from a tribe that many people have tried to dismiss as somehow beginning disqualified for this high office.
“By hard work, determination and unyielding belief in a noble endeavor, you can achieve the best of things.
“There are young people listening to me right now who shall one day be the leaders of our precious and exceptional democratic republic.”
He also pledged to make Nigeria stand and shine forth as God intended it to be.
“History will record this day as the moment when I officially stood before you as president elect.
“However, I would like to dedicate this day and record it as the moment that we vowed to come together to make Nigeria stand and shine forth at the beloved and brave republic God intended it to be.”
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that dignitaries at the event include Vice-president Yemi Osinbajo; Secretary to Government of Federation, Boss Mustapha.
Other are the National Security Adviser to the President, the Inspector General of Police, the President of the Senate, Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the APC National Chairman.
Tinubu was on Wednesday declared president-elect.
He polled 8,794,726 out of the 24,965,218 total vote cast, defeating his major rivals; Atiku Abubakar of the People Democratic Party (PDP) who polled 6,984,520 votes and Peter Obi of the Labour Party who secured 6,101,533 votes.