An excited President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan sent a passionate message to all Nigerians thanking them for the confidence reposed in him and making him the number one choice for the nation’s presidency, come May 29 this year.
“Thank you Nigeria. We did it! I knew we could but seeing it come to fruition” he said, claiming the victory brought back the pleasant memory he had as a child listening on the radio as the Union Jack was lowered and the Green and White Flag raised on October 1st, 1960, the nation’s Independence Day.
The president apparently was denoting his earlier statement as the election was going on that the nation having successfully held a fair election has entered a new dawn of Independence.
The president however is appealing to all across the nation to put an end to “unnecessary and avoidable” post-election violence across the north of the country claiming that as a forward looking nation: “We are all winners”
He made the quote his title in his new message to the nation in his facebook page.
In a statement, Mr Jonathan said: “I have received with great sadness the news of sporadic unrest in some parts of the country which are not unconnected with last Saturday’s elections.
“I appeal to those involved to stop this unnecessary and avoidable conduct, more so at this point in time when a lot of sacrifice has been made by all the citizens of this great country in ensuring the conduct of free and fair elections.
“I call on all our political leaders, especially the contestants, to appeal to their supporters to stop further violence in the interest of stability, peace and well-being of this great country.
“No-one’s political ambition is worth the blood of any Nigerian.”
“It is the first time in Nigeria’s recent history that the election result has exposed the huge division between the Muslim north and Christian south”. claimed Muhammad Jameel Yushau,of BBC Hausa Service.
Incumbent Goodluck Jonathan has won in nearly all southern states, which are predominantly Christian except for one, while his main challenger Muhammadu Buhari won in the Muslim north-east and north-west. Both candidates shared votes in the north central area which has a substantial Muslim and Christian population.
Elections in Nigeria are not necessarily about issues but about ethnicity, religion and regionalism. So historically they have been won as a result of either a formal alliance by political parties or – more recently – an informal agreement within the governing PDP party to alternate the presidency between north and south.
For this reason, the winning candidate – irrespective of region, religion or ethnicity – normally commanded a wide national spread. In 1999, Olusegun Obasanjo, a Christian from the south, won the majority of the votes in northern Nigeria. However, the rotation was broken when Mr Jonathan succeeded to the presidency last year after the death of Umaru Yar’Adua, a northerner.
This election, described by international observers as the most successful for decades, seems to be compounding the country’s regional and ethnic divisions.