Obama salutes Buhari, says election shows Nigerians’ commitment to democracy

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ABUJA – U.S. President Barack Obama on Wednesday, congratulated Nigeria’s president-elect, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, saying his election was a demonstration of Nigerians’ commitment to democratic principles.

Obama, in a message issued by the U.S. embassy in Abuja, commended Nigerians for their large turnout in exercising their franchise.

He commended President Goodluck Jonathan for his show of sportsmanship by conceding defeat to Buhari.

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“The last few days have shown the world the strength of Nigeria’s commitment to democratic principles.

“By turning out in large numbers and sometimes waiting all day to cast their votes, Nigerians came together to decide the future of their country peacefully.
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“I commend President Goodluck Jonathan and president-elect, Muhammadu Buhari, on their public commitments to non-violence throughout the campaign.

“President Jonathan has placed his country’s interests first by conceding the election and congratulating president-elect, Buhari, on his victory,’’ he said.

Obama said he looked forward to working with Jonathan throughout the remainder of his tenure.

He urged Buhari and Jonathan to repeat their calls to their supporters to continue to respect the outcome of the, focus on unifying Nigeria, and together leading Nigeria through a peaceful transition.

“Nigeria’s Independent National Election Commission (INEC) and its Chairman, Attahiru Jega, deserve special recognition for what independent international observers have deemed a largely peaceful and orderly vote.

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“I commend INEC for its extensive efforts to increase the credibility and transparency of the electoral process”, Obama said.

He said he looked firward to peaceful gubernatorial and state Houses of Assembly elections on April 11. (NAN)

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