President Buhari said that the success of the 2015 election would have been impossible without the heroism of Jonathan and Attahiru Jega.
Buhari, who spoke at the Leadership award ceremony in Abuja recalled that various predictions about the disintegration of Nigeria after the election did not come to pass because of Jonathan's patriotism and the impartial role played by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Buhari said: "I am most delighted to be part of this occasion organised by the Leadership Newspapers Group to honour Nigerians who have excelled in their chosen fields of endeavour.
"Let me hasten to congratulate my joint award winners, my predecessor, His Excellency, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR and Professor Attahiru Jega, the former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, as ‘Leadership Person of the Year.’
"The events of 2015, which the Leadership newspaper has chosen to bring to the fore today, marked a watershed in the political history of our country.
"Those of us who were participating actors in the elections were led by the higher ideal of the future of our great country and the well-being of our people rather than the mere desire of politicians to win elections.
"It is therefore our commitment to this ideal, the patriotic zeal of President Jonathan, the impartiality of the electoral umpire, INEC, and exemplary conduct of the political parties, foreign pressure and other actors that we collectively disappointed the prophets of doom who had predicted the disintegration of the country after the 2015 general election."
The President added that with Nigerians now confident that their votes can count, the political class must build on the outcome of the 2015 election which has straightened Nigeria's democracy.