AFP
1 minute read
1 Mar 2019
6:22 am

US hails ‘successful’ Nigeria vote

AFP

The United States on Thursday congratulated Nigeria on a "successful" vote, which saw President Muhammadu Buhari re-elected after delayed polling blamed on logistical difficulties.

The United States has built political and economic relations with Nigeria since the restoration of democracy 20 years ago. AFP/File/Kola SULAIMON

“We commend all those Nigerians who participated peacefully in the election and condemn those whose acts of violence harmed Nigerians and the electoral process,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement.

“We note the assessments of international and domestic observer missions affirming the overall credibility of the election, despite localized violence and irregularities.”

The United States has built political and economic relations with Nigeria since the restoration of democracy 20 years ago and in recent years has been especially involved in supporting its fight against Boko Haram jihadists.

Buhari’s winning margin over his nearest challenger, Atiku Abubakar, was 3.9 million votes — more than enough to ensure he remained the head of Africa’s most populous nation and leading oil producer for the next four years.

Leading civil society election monitor YIAGA Africa, which has US and British backing, said “the announced election results reflect the votes cast,” even if there were problems.

The vote took place last Saturday, delayed one week over the logistical problems cited by election officials.

Abubakar’s Peoples Democratic Party claimed Buhari’s All Progressives Congress colluded with the electoral commission to manipulate the outcome.

In early February, with tensions mounting over potential violence and vote-rigging, Pompeo said the ballot offered “an opportunity for Nigeria to solidify its place as a democratic leader in Africa.” He called for a “free, fair, transparent and peaceful election.”