The 2019 presidential election will go down in history as one of the most keenly contested poll since Nigeria gained her independence in 1960.
About 73 political parties out of the 91 registered political parties fielded candidates, but in the build up to the election, some withdrew their candidacy and pitched tent with either the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), President Muhammadu Buhari or his main challenger, Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). But others like, Fela Durotoye of Alliance for New Nigeria, Kingsley Moghalu of Young Progressives Party (YPP) and many more, stood tall till the end of the race.
Although there were other candidates in the race to Aso Rock, majority of Nigerians, including the international community and election observers, knew that the contest was between President Buhari of APC and Atiku of PDP.
In the build up to the election, chieftains of both parties divided the country along religious, party and tribal lines, with speeches laced with hatred and war chant, raising tension in all corners of the country.
The parties rode on the mantra of unsubstantiated gale of allegations and incitive comments which scared so many investors away from the country.
For instance in 2018, the uncertainty surrounding the outcome of the election, led to depreciation in the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) market by 19.77 per cent.
Reports have it that the exchange which was named the third best performing stock exchange in the world in 2017 with over 43 per cent return-on-investment performed abysmally in 2018.
According to experts, the market, which started the first quarter of 2018 on a positive note, nosedived due to the withdrawal of funds by foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) who were worried over the election.
The election which was held last Saturday, was characterized by violence in states like Lagos, Bayelsa, Delta, Rivers; including incidents of ballot box snatching, over voting and shortage of electoral materials in some places. But to a large extent, INEC must be commended for giving us above average free and fair elections.
Even though, there were shortcomings regarding the election in some parts of the country no doubt, we appeal to all the candidates to accept the result in good fate for the love of country.
According to reports, about 40 people lost their lives because of the election. To avoid further skirmishes, the candidates should see the outcome as the will of God and must not incite their supporters for any reason.
Our country has gone through a lot of monstrous challenges, which had threatened the existence of its indivisible structure. So, not accepting the result by any of the candidates, will be a call for anarchy and total annihilation of our already fragile unity.
Also, it will be a call for military incaution in our politics, thereby eroding the progress we have made in the last 20years, growing our democracy.
Furthermore, the economy is in quagmire, couple with the humanitarian crisis in the northeast and Boko Haram insurgency; it would definitely be too much to handle for the country, if there is crisis as a result of any of the candidates refusing to accept the outcome of the election.
Nigerians have made lots of sacrifices for the election and the survival of our democracy. They sacrificed their money and time to travel thousands of kilometres. Some even made the ultimate sacrifice with their precious lives, all because of the election.
It is the time for the candidates to make their own sacrifice by accepting the outcome of the poll for the love of country. This way, they will prove to the world that they are lovers of democracy and unrepentant patriots.
Election is not perfect anywhere in the world. Even the 2016 presidential election in the United States of America, is still a subject of controversy.
Therefore, we urge all the presidential candidates to accept the outcome of the election in good fate for the love of Nigeria and deepening of democracy.