President-elect Bola Tinubu with one of the girls who performed a cultural dance at a campaign rally in Benin-City in the run-up to the 25 February election/Photo: APC-PCC

Nigeria’s new leader says he’s received “greatest gift”

President-elect of Nigeria, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has described his victory at the 25 February presidential election as the greatest gift he could receive as he celebrates his birthday today.

“With such a privilege already granted to me, I will not go so far as to suggest I am due any birthday presents this year,” Tinubu, who turned 71 on Wednesday (29 March), said in a personal message to Nigerians.

“I have already been given the greatest gift. A chance to lead and fulfil destiny. An opportunity to champion your aspirations and to bring about the Nigeria of your dreams.”

The President-elect stated that he would, instead, use the day as an opportunity to reiterate his commitment to the great and important task of rebuilding the nation and renewing the hope of the Nigerian people.

Chairman of the Independent Electoral Commission, Prof Yakubu Mahmood (left), presents the Certificate of Return to Asiwaju Bola Tinubu (middle) while his wife Oluremi (right) looks on at the National Collation Centre in Abuja on 1 March/Photo: APC-PCC

“I campaigned hard and made important promises. Those promises were not mere words; professed glibly or cynically to win support,” he noted.

“They represent a bond that binds me to the task of creating a better Nigeria for the benefit of every Nigerian, whether you voted for me or not. I have prepared for this moment all my life, I will not fail.”

Tinubu, the candidate of the governing APC, was declared the winner of the presidential poll in the early hours of March 1, defeating runners-up Atiku Abubakar of the PDP and Peter Obi of the Labour Party.

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Below is the full statement of the President-Elect:

My 71st Birthday Message to Nigerians

Dear Nigerians,

I thank all of you who have expressed your goodwill towards me on the occasion of my 71st birthday. I received your kind words with great pleasure and was profoundly touched by the depth of your care and support. Above all, I thank God Almighty for the life He has given me, for all the opportunities and doors He has opened to me along the way.

This year in particular, I see this day as one of deep reflection. The spiritual meaning and significance of the holy month of Ramadan matter to me much more than the celebration of any individual milestone.

Yet, this is my first birthday as the President-elect. A few weeks back, Nigerians gave me the honour of a lifetime. In exactly two months, on the 29th of May my term in office will begin. It is a rare privilege indeed, and one that I do not take lightly and shall not squander.

With such a privilege already granted to me, I will not go so far as to suggest I am due any birthday presents this year. I have already been given the greatest gift. A chance to lead and fulfil destiny. An opportunity to champion your aspirations and to bring about the Nigeria of your dreams.

I will, instead, use this day as an opportunity to reiterate my commitment to the great and important task of rebuilding our nation and renewing the hope of the Nigerian people. I campaigned hard and made important promises. Those promises were not mere words; professed glibly or cynically to win support. They represent a bond that binds me to the task of creating a better Nigeria for the benefit of every Nigerian, whether you voted for me or not. I have prepared for this moment all my life, I will not fail.

Henceforth, may growth, hope, peace and compassion stand proudly and ring loudly throughout the land. May we find the right way and the good courage to turn our beloved country into a strong, just and prosperous home for all. May Almighty God bless all Nigerians.

SIGNED

President-elect,
Asíwájú Bola Ahmed Tinubu
March 29, 2023.

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