U.S. hails ‘successful’ Nigeria vote

Agence France-Presse
'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 says

RE-ELECTED. Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari (R) addresses the audience following his re-election, after Nigeria's Independent National Electoral Commission presented his certificate of election on February 27, 2019, in Abuja. File photo by Kola Sulaimon/AFP

WASHINGTON, DC, USA – The United States on Thursday, February 28, congratulated Nigeria on a “successful” vote, which saw President Muhammadu Buhari re-elected after delayed polling blamed on logistical difficulties.

“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, February 23, delayed a 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.” – Rappler.com