Buhari, Obasanjo congratulate Hichilema over victory in Zambia’s Presidential polls

Zambian presidential candidate for the opposition party United Party for National Development (UPND) Hakainde Hichilema gives a press conference at his residence, in Lusaka on August 11, 2021. - The UPND, the main rival to the ruling Patriotic Front (PF), is eager to tap into mounting disillusionment in the city's poorest neighbourhoods, where dissent has grown since the last 2016 poll. (Photo by Patrick Meinhardt / AFP)

President Muhammadu Buhari and former President Olusegun Obasanjo yesterday congratulated Zambia’s opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema on his emergence as the winner of the country’s presidential election.

While Buhari lauded outgoing President Edgar Lungu for accepting the results and a peaceful transfer of power, Obasanjo urged Hichilema to be magnanimous in victory.

Hichilema recorded a landslide victory by scoring 2,810,777 votes against Lungu’s 1,814,201 in the election.

The victory of Hichilema is the third time that power would shift peacefully from a ruling party to the opposition since Zambia’s Independence in 1964.

According to a statement issued by the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the President, Femi Adesina, Buhari said the peaceful conduct of the election signposted that a united, stable and prosperous Africa lies in the power of the people to freely elect their leaders.

He noted that Lungu’s patriotic disposition deserves the praise of all lovers of democracy.

In a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Kehinde Akinyemi, Obasanjo said he was elated that Zambians had kept democracy alive.

He said: “I congratulate the elected President, Mr. Hakainde Hichilema for his victory and also I want to congratulate the outgoing President, Edgar Lungu for working hard to maintain the tenets of democracy by conceding, when the result is clear that Hichilema won.

“I also congratulate the people of Zambia for keeping democracy alive. I appeal to the new President to be magnanimous in victory and the people of Zambia should maintain the dignity and peace which we are all noted for in Africa.”



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