A former British Prime Minister, Mr. Tony Blair, has said Nigeria’s peaceful elections and transition of power have earned her respect throughout the whole world.
Speaking shortly after a meeting with the president-elect, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd), the ex-British prime minister said Nigeria’s image has gone up since the last election, with the clear signs of a peaceful transition by May 29.
This is just as the All Progressives Congress (APC) committee on inauguration has announced that it is planning a low-key inauguration ceremony in deference to the poor state of the Nigerian economy.
Blair however assured Buhari of the goodwill and support of the international community to Nigeria based on the peaceful transition of power.
“In the last few weeks, Nigeria has earned respect throughout the whole world. There is enormous support for Nigeria now in the international community. The support takes into consideration the challenges that lie ahead and there is great confidence in the country,” he said.
While reminding the president-elect of the challenges that lie ahead, Blair expressed the hope that if the government could maintain the same momentum of goodwill that guided the election, then the country was sure of surmounting any difficulty in the coming years.
“This is an election which took place in a way which the country shows the majority of democracies the spirit and character of its people and in the president-elect and vice-president-elect, it is a leadership that I know is determined to do its best for the country.
“Obviously, the future and destiny of Nigeria lies in the hands of its people. I just want to say to the president-elect that there is tremendous support for you and the country at this moment and all of us, in whatever way we can stand ready to support you and help you.
“It is a moment of great challenges which borders on the life of the people as well as their security and so on. If the same spirit and character that defined the election can be taken through these coming years to address the challenges, I think we can all have great confidence in the times ahead,” he said.
In his short remark, Buhari commended the United States and “other Western nations for making it possible for Nigeria to conduct a free, fair and credible election”.
“We had a meeting and discussed how Britain and the United States were helping us in making sure that we conducted ourselves according to our constitution.
“The fact that it has been so successful is a major relief for us and to all people of conscience throughout the world. I thank the former British prime minister for his concern for Nigeria and Nigerians in what he is prepared to do by continuing to help us as a country and as a people,” he said.