The incumbent President, despite severe criticism and perceived underperformance, still manage to secure as many as four million votes more than his closest challenger, Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
However, Atiku has refused to accept the result, stressing instead that his party was greatly short changed by the ruling party insisting that the turn out in perceived areas of strength of the PDP was lower than expected, he claimed that the numbers in some areas that President Buhari got a large number of votes could not have been possible.
To this end, Atiku refused to congratulate President Buhari, insisting instead to take his case to the election tribunal to seek justice and reclaim what he believed to be his stolen mandate.
However, it seems Atiku’s support base is crumbling after several people that threw their weight behind his presidential bid decided to move to the other camp following his defeat.
One of such persons in the former Military President, General Ibrahim Babangida who recently sent his congratulatory message to President Buhari on his reelection.
Babangida who is believed to be in the group of powerful former Army Generals who had determined who became President of Nigeria since 1999 is said to be in league with former President Olusegun Obasanjo and has worked to make sure that Atiku emerges as president.
However, while Obasanjo has refused to congratulate Buhari on his reelection, Babangida congratulated his former on a well-fought race.
The former Military President also Praised Atiku for putting up a good fight despite falling short eventually.
“I was particularly impressed with the gallant and audacious spirit of the main challenger in the presidential race, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar GCON,” Babangida said.
“I was not surprised that even though he lost the most exotic position of the land, his doggedness and pattern of support cut across ethnic, religious and regional lines that earned him the second position of the last Presidential election.
“I urged him also to endeavour and prevail on his admirers to eschew bitterness and violence.
“They must be prevailed upon to understand that politics is a game in which there must be only one winner,” the former military leader added.
Babangida, however, urged President Buhari to focus on the economy during his second term in office.
“I wish to congratulate President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR on his re-election to lead Nigeria in the next four years.
“I have observed that the electioneering campaign was very strenuous and the contest very keen.
“That despite the turbulent terrain of politics, the President submitted and subjected himself to this process. Indeed is a clear testimony that he believes in the democratic process and ideals.
“The newly elected President should heal the wounds of the heated campaign exchanges by embracing those who contested alongside with him,” Babangida continued.
“The President must resist the temptation to see them as enemies; not even opponents, but fellow compatriots who merely disagreed with him on how best to move our country forward.
“The economy of the country must also occupy the President’s urgent attention.
“There is the need to be more creative in formulating policies that will improve the nation’s economy, create employment opportunities and give hope to our teaming youths,” he added.
“The President may wish to heed to the yearnings of reasonable Nigerians for restructuring and seek all constitutional means to devolve some powers presently exercised by the Federal Government to the other tiers of government,” he concluded.