Abuja - The U.S. government on Thursday congratulated the people and the Government of Nigeria on what it described as “historic and largely peaceful” elections on March 28.
A statement by the U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry issued by the U.S. Embassy in Abuja , commended President Goodluck Jonathan and INEC Chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega for conducting credible elections.
"We especially applaud all voters who showed patience and demonstrated their commitment to participate in the democratic process.
"The United States commends Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and its Chairman, Attahiru Jega on the generally orderly vote.
"We commend INEC and Jega on the use of technology such as card readers to increase the credibility and transparency of the electoral process and of prompt communication of the results.
"While we note reports of logistical problems such incidents did not undermine the overall outcome of the election," Kerry said.
He said that in January, he personally travelled to Nigeria and meet with both Jonathan and then APC candidate, retired General Muhammadu Buhari.
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"At that time, I emphasised that for in 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," he said.
He lauded Jonathan and Buhari for their public commitments to the Abuja Peace Accord signed in January and reaffirmed in March, respecting the official results and encouraging their supporters to do same.
"We commend President Jonathan for his years of service and for having acted in the best interest of his country.
"We welcome President Jonathan’s calls for unity and calm during this transition period. We extend our congratulations to President-elect Buhari.
"The United States reiterates its commitment to working with the newly elected government that emerges from this democratic process," Kerry said.