The United States government has lauded President Goodluck Jonathan and President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari, for their commitments to the Abuja Peace Accord which they signed before the March 28 presidential election.
In a statement issued Thursday by Secretary of State, John Kerry, the US applauded Nigerian voters for their patience and commitment to participate in the democratic process.
“In January, I travelled personally to Nigeria and met with both President Jonathan and now President-Elect Buhari,” Mr. Kerry said.
“At that time, I emphasized that for the United States, Nigeria is an increasingly important strategic partner and that Nigeria has a critical role to play in the security and prosperity of this continent and beyond.
“I also said that it was imperative that these elections are an improvement over past elections and that they need to set a new standard for this democracy. That means that Nigerians needed to not only reject violence but actually promote peace.
“We laud both President Jonathan and General Buhari for their public commitments to the Abuja Accord signed in January and reaffirmed March 26, respecting the official results, and encouraging their supporters to do the same.”
The US government commended President Jonathan for his years of service and for having acted in the best interest of Nigeria. It also lauded Attahiru Jega, chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, for conducting a free, fair, and credible election.
“We welcome President Jonathan’s calls for unity and calm during this transition period,” Mr. Kerry said.
“The United States commends Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and its Chairman, Attahiru Jega, on the generally orderly vote, on the use of technology such as card readers to increase the credibility and transparency of the electoral process, and on prompt communication of the results.
“While we note reports of logistical problems, such incidents did not undermine the overall outcome of the election.”
The US government also extended its congratulations to Mr. Buhari and reiterated its commitment to working with the newly elected government.