The Governor of Niger State, Babangida Aliyu, on Wednesday conceded defeat to the Niger East Senator-elect, David Umaru, at last Saturday’s National Assembly poll in Niger State.
Aliyu, who spoke to newsmen in Minna on Wednesday, explained that he had called the Senator-elect to congratulate him, saying his calls and text messages had not been answered.
The governor said, “I have already conceded defeat to Barrister David Umaru. I have called Umaru’s number after he was declared winner about seven times but he did not pick the calls. I sent a text, saying ‘this is the Chief Servant calling, please pick’, and I have not received a reply by now.
“I have no qualms about the defeat. I did not see my defeat as an insult to my person but as God’s will.”
Appreciating the Independent National Electoral Commission for paying attention to details, Aliyu said the electoral body should appreciate the shortcomings in the election and work towards correcting them.
He also applauded what he described as “the gentleman approach” of President Goodluck Jonathan in congratulating the President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari, adding that his action doused whatever tension that was on the ground during the collation of the results.
“President Jonathan’s approach doused whatever tension had been created. It worked to smoothen whatever rough edge the election would have created. We hope that the transition will be smooth and everyone will see a friendly handover,” he stated.
Aliyu added that the defeat of the PDP in the state would give the ruling party a chance to reorganise and put its house in order for the next election.