US President Barack Obama has commended Nigeria’s President-elect Muhammadu Buhari and outgoing president Goodluck Jonathan, for their role in the country’s first democratic transfer of power.
Speaking to them separately, Obama was quoted by the White House as commending “them for their leadership during Nigeria’s election”.
“This historic step for Nigeria and Africa,” said Obama’s National Security Advisor Susan Rice.
The manner in which Nigeria’s election ended was not envisaged by several international observers, with many raising fears the country could break up after the polls. But with the election ending peaceful without violence of any form, Obama’s administration was quick to lavish praise on Buhari and Jonathan.
Nigeria has suffered six military coups since independence from Britain in 1960 and has seen 16 years of unbroken civilian rule by Jonathan’s party. But the tension created by political campaigns by the two leading parties in the country, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) gave nothing away on how the election finally ended.
The president-elect will take over power on May 29 when he will be inaugurated.