President Barrack Obama says Attahiru Jega, chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), deserves special recognition for the success of the March 28 presidential election.
Obama commended President Goodluck Jonathan and Muhammadu Buhari, the president-elect, for not encouraging acts capable of undermining the interest of the country throughout their campaigns.
He urged both leaders to educate their supporters on the need to shun violence.
“Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and its chairman, Attahiru Jega, deserve special recognition for what independent international observers have deemed a largely peaceful and orderly vote,” he said in a statement issued on Wednesday.
“Looking ahead to the gubernatorial elections on April 11, it is imperative that national attention turn to ensuring isolated logistical challenges are overcome and peace is protected, even in the most hotly contested races.
“I commend President Goodluck Jonathan and President-Elect Muhammadu Buhari for their public commitments to non-violence throughout the campaign.
“President Jonathan has placed his country’s interests first by conceding the election and congratulating the president-elect on his victory.
“I look forward to working with President Jonathan throughout the remainder of his term, and I thank him for his many years of service and his statesmanlike conduct at this critical juncture.
“I also look forward to working with the newly-elected government on our many shared priorities.”
Obama commended Nigerians for actively participating in the poll, saying by so doing, they have shown the world that they are committed to democratic principles.
“On behalf of the American people, I extend congratulations to the people of Nigeria,” he said.
“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.”