By Dipo Olowookere
President Muhammadu Buhari has extended his warm congratulations to candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Mr Nana Akufo-Addo, on his historic win of the December 7 Ghana presidential election.
President Buhari also felicitated with the government and people of Ghana, the National Electoral Commission, and candidates of political parties, for the decorum, maturity and peaceful conduct of the election that produced a winner from an opposition party, who was contesting for the third time.
Mr Buhari said in a statement issued by his spokesman, Mr Femi Adesina, that as a scion of one of the biggest political families in Ghana, and with the lessons learnt from previous unsuccessful attempts preceded by years of service to the country, most notably as foreign affairs minister, he believes Mr Akufo-Addo is widely experienced and skilled in leadership to build on the legacies of President John Dramani Mahama.
The Nigerian leader extolled the statesmanship and great leadership qualities of Mr Mahama, who came into power at a trying period for the country with the passing away of former President John Atta-Mills, and kept pushing for a better life for all Ghanaians, and strengthening diplomatic relations with countries in the sub-region, especially Nigeria.
He particularly commended the incumbent President for the great courage to call his opponent and concede defeat, stressing that leaders must always honour their pre-election pledge to accept the results of polls as the will of the people.
President Buhari said he remains optimistic that the future of African development rests on building strong political, democratic institutions, ensuring free, fair and credible elections, and respect for the sanctity of the ballot.
He urged the President-elect and other winners of the parliamentary elections in Ghana to be magnanimous in victory while losers should explore peaceful and legal mechanisms to challenge the outcome of the polls where necessary.
President Buhari noted that the greater interest of the country and the stability of the sub-region should be uppermost in the minds of all stakeholders and wished Ghana a smooth transition of power, and looks forward to working with the new President.
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