United States, promoter of democracy in the world, has expressed confidence in Nigeria for security on the African continent following the conduct of a peaceful election that defeated incumbent President, Goodluck Jonathan.
Besides personal commendations sent from President Obama to President-elect Mohammadu Buhari for his victory, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has also expressed in a statement that Nigeria is an increasingly important strategic partner and it has a critical role to play in the security and prosperity of the African continent and beyond.
Mr. Kerry stressed, “The United States congratulates the people of Nigeria and the Nigerian Government on the historic and largely peaceful elections the weekend of March 28. We especially applaud all voters who showed patience and demonstrated their commitment to participate in the democratic process.”
The U.S. Secretary also lauded Nigeria’s Independent National Elections Commission (INEC) and its Chairman, Attahiru Jega for the conduct of the generally orderly vote, wherein technology such as card readers were used to increase the credibility and transparency of the electoral process.
He said despite reports of logistical problems during the election, such incidents did not undermine the overall outcome of the election.
Mr. Kerry recalled that prior to the election, he traveled to Nigeria in January and met with both President Jonathan and President-Elect Buhari, and emphasized that it was imperative that the elections should be an improvement over past elections and that they need to set a new standard for democracy.
“That means Nigerians needed to not only reject violence but actually promote peace,” he added.
In his expression of satisfaction to the Nigerians for bringing the U.S. expectation to pass, Secretary of State Kerry lauded President Jonathan and General Buhari for their public commitments to the Abuja Peace Accord signed in January and reaffirmed March 26, respecting the official results and encouraging their supporters to follow suit.
Furthermore, Kerry on behalf of the United States commended President Jonathan for his years of service and for having acted in the best interest of his country to accept the results of the elections.
President Jonathan while the final official results were yet to be announced, conceded defeat and called President-Elect Buhari to commend him for winning the election.
Jonathan has also urged his supporters of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to be happy and not to mourn because PDP has ruled the country since Nigeria’s democracy began in 1999, and is peacefully and democratically transitioning power to an elected leader.
Mr. Kerry finally extended congratulations to President-Elect Buhari and reiterated U.S. commitment to working with the newly elected government.
Meanwhile, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has described Nigeria’s election as “Exemplary and history-setting,” stressing that it has strengthened the resolve of all African nations to continue on the democratic path that ensures long lasting peace and sustainable development across the African continent.