He said the victory and the peaceful manner in which the election was conducted marked a significant point in the democratic process in Nigeria and Africa.
He also extended congratulations to all the political stakeholders, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the rest of the Nigerian people for strengthening democracy and good governance.
President Mahama, who is also the Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), further commended the incumbent President, Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, for his maturity and statesmanship in the face of defeat.
He touched on the phone call President Jonathan made to Buhari to congratulate him on his victory, describing it as “a mark of courage and respect for the will of the Nigerian people”.
He hailed the Nigerian elections as triumph for the new Africa emerging.
In a related development, ECOWAS has congratulated General Buhari on coming up victorious in the Nigerian presidential election.
The sub-regional body noted the peaceful manner in which the election was conducted and hailed the people of Nigeria for the great achievement.
A statement signed by the ECOWAS Chairman, President Mahama, also noted the statesmanship and leadership demonstrated by President Jonathan for accepting the results and calling the winner to congratulate him.
Again, ECOWAS recognised the laudable role played by the INEC, particularly its Chairman, Professor A.M. Jega, in the successful conduct of the election.
“ECOWAS commends the people of Nigeria for the determination and courage demonstrated throughout the period of the elections. This is a clear indication of the collective commitment of the Nigerian stakeholders towards strengthening democracy and good governance, in line with our community protocols,” the statement said.
Following the declaration of the results, ECOWAS urged the political parties and their supporters, the candidates and the people of Nigeria to accept the verdict.
They should also continue to observe the peace and employ only legal and constitutional means to seek redress for any grievances.
Former President Kufuor
Former President John Agyekum Kufuor has also congratulated General Buhari on winning last Saturday’s presidential election in Nigeria.
In a statement signed by Mr Frank Agyekum, his Spokesperson and Special Aide, former President Kufuor said General Buhari’s victory through the ballot box and the subsequent conceding of defeat by incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan would help solidify democracy in Nigeria and across Africa.
“I wish President-elect Buhari well and trust that under his leadership the fortunes of Nigeria will be further enhanced for the benefit of the Nigerian people and the whole of Africa.
“I commend President Jonathan for his speedy conceding of defeat.
“I also congratulate all Nigerians on their determination to make democracy work. Their patience and the peaceful conduct of the elections must be a lesson worthy of emulation by all of Africa.
“They have spoken out, loud and clear, as to who they want to lead them. It is a manifestation that power belongs to the people and their wishes must be respected at all times,” former President Kufuor said.
Meanwhile, former President Kufuor returned home yesterday (Wednesday) after leading a 250-member Observer Mission of ECOWAS to observe the elections in Nigeria.
While in Nigeria, he held talks with both President Jonathan, and in-coming President Buhari, as well as the Nigerian National Peace Committee, on the need to maintain peace in the aftermath of the elections.
Former President Kufuor was accompanied to those meetings by former Presidents Amos Sawyer of Liberia and Bakil Muluzi of Malawi, who headed the African Union and the Commonwealth Observer missions respectively to monitor the elections.
Also at the meetings was Dr Mohammed Ibn Chambas, the Special Representative of the Secretary General of the United Nations (UN) to West Africa.
Former UN Secretary General
In a related development, Mr Kofi Annan, a former Secretary General of the UN, congratulated General Buhari on his electoral success.
In a statement issued yesterday, Mr Annan said, “The Nigerian people had spoken, and they had elected General Muhammadu Buhari. I offer him my warmest congratulations on his electoral success.
“At the same time, I wish to express great appreciation to President Goodluck Jonathan for his service to the nation and for accepting the electoral outcome in a democratic spirit.
“My congratulations go as well to Professor Attahiru Jega and the Independent National Electoral Commission for their extraordinary efforts to ensure that the elections were held in a transparent manner, as well as for ensuring that most Nigerians had the opportunity to cast their vote.
“My thanks extend as well to the many thousands of poll workers, electoral observers, party agents and civil society organisations who helped to ensure that these elections succeeded, despite many difficulties.
“I also commend the security services for ensuring security and calm during the electoral process.
“The Nigerian people have exercised their democratic rights. Despite the threat from Boko Haram, voters came out to cast their votes. At some polling stations, even though they were attacked, voters came back to vote. That shows the determination of the people of Nigeria to have a say in how they are governed, and by whom.
“I hope, therefore, that the will of the people will not be marred by violence in the days ahead. I call on all Nigerians to respect the results and seek redress, if need be, through appropriate and peaceful means, Mr Annan, who is also Chair of the Kofi Annan Foundation, said.
In another statement, Mr Mo Ibrahim of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, said, “the news from Nigeria today is wonderful. Africa’s largest country has concluded a peaceful election process.
“Furthermore, the incumbent has already gracefully conceded [defeat] and congratulated his successor — a first for Nigeria and benchmark for other African countries to follow.
“Today, we Africans are all proud of Nigeria and President Jonathan,” Mr Ibrahim said.