Dr. Davidson Akhimien, the presidential candidate of Grassroots Development Party of Nigeria (GDPN), on Thursday called on other candidates defeated in the presidential election to accept the outcome, and support President Muhammadu Buhari, the winner.
Akhimien made the call in an interview with the newsmen in Lagos.
INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, had on Wednesday declared President Buhari, candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), the winner of the February 23 presidential election.
Buhari polled 15,191,847 votes to defeat his closest rival, Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who polled 11,255, 978.
Seventy-three candidates, including Akhimien, participated in the election.
“I call on all Presidential candidates of the other parties to accept the result of the just concluded election, and join hands with President Buhari to work for a better Nigeria,” he said.
Akhimien said that such collaboration would help to deepen the nation’s democracy and deliver collective value to the people.
He described the just concluded elections as fair, irrespective of certain security challenges that occurred in some parts of the country.
He said INEC tried its best to deliver free, fair and credible elections, but it appears its best was not good enough.
He noted that the last minute postponement had some effects on the electioneering, as it took the nation by surprise.
Akhimien said that the postponement brought huge economic losses to the country.
“The conduct of the elections had some logistical hitches; as voting was marred in some polling areas.
“In all, INEC could be said to have done fairly well, given the enormity of the task and the expansive nature of the country.
“Voter apathy was high largely due to the postponement; despite warnings against ballot box snatching, some areas still experienced this anomaly with several casualties recorded,” he said.
Akhimien advised President Buhari to keep the fight against corruption going by deploying appropriate technology to reduce the scourge.
He also advised the president to re-appraise the country’s security architecture, to ensure its efficiency and effectiveness.
Akhimien urged Nigerians to continue to have hope in the country.
“We are evolving as other developed nations had. Democracy still remains our best bet in achieving a better co-existence and livelihood.
“We should, therefore, keep faith with INEC and our electioneering processes; we shall make progress on them as we go along.
“We must remember that we have no other home but Nigeria, and it is important that we make it work,” he said.