On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I applaud the people of Nigeria for their enthusiastic and orderly participation in the April 16th presidential election. This historic event marks a dramatic shift from decades of failed elections and a substantial improvement over the 2007 presidential election.
While this election was a success for the people of Nigeria, it was far from perfect. We urge the Independent National Electoral Commission to transparently review and take appropriate and transparent action on all allegations of “under-age” voters, violence and intimidation, ballot stuffing, and inordinately high turnout in some areas of the country. The United States condemns the acts of violence related to elections and we call upon all candidates, political parties, and supporters to respect the results of the election and channel any grievances or challenges peacefully through established, administrative and legal redress. The international community will closely watch the upcoming gubernatorial elections and we call on all Nigerian stakeholders to support a credible and peaceful electoral process.
We commend the Independent National Electoral Commission and Chairman Professor Attahiru Jega along with many others across government and civil society for their strong collaboration and dedication to democracy. They provided a real opportunity for the Nigerian people to select their most senior leaders and will position Nigeria to build its democracy through strong governance, transparent institutions, and economic development. The United States congratulates President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan on his election and wishes him well in meeting the many challenges facing Nigeria and in providing the good governance Nigerians deserve. This election represents a positive new beginning for Nigeria.