US President Barack Obama and Nicolas Sarkozy congratulates President Jonathan

World leaders, including the United States President Barack Obama and his French
counterpart, Nicolas Sarkozy, Wednesday congratulated President Goodluck Jonathan on
his victory in the presidential election and wished “him well in meeting the many challenges
facing Nigeria and in providing the good governance Nigerians deserve”.

The US president on his part specifically urged the presidential candidates, who lost the
election, to respect the result of the poll and embrace the established legal channels to
seek redress and shun violence.

The US Secretary of State, Senator Hillary Clinton, in a statement issued on Tuesday night
said: “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

“This historic event marks a dramatic shift from decades of failed elections and a substantial
improvement over the 2007 presidential election.”

The statement, though, noted that the election “was far from perfect”, it said it “represents a
positive new beginning for Nigeria”.

The statement also condemned the violent clashes that trailed the election and called on
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

While commending the collaboration and dedication to democracy by the Chairman of the
Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega, civil societies and
any other people in government, the statement said: “They provided a real opportunity for the
Nigerian people to select their most senior leaders.”

It also noted that this would position Nigeria to build its democracy through strong
governance, transparent institutions and economic development.

The statement however urged INEC “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”.

On the gubernatorial and state Assembly elections coming up next week, the statement said
the international community would closely watch the exercise and also called on all Nigerian
stakeholders to support a credible and peaceful electoral process.

In his message to Jonathan, French leader Sarkozy said “On the occasion of your election
as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, I am pleased to send you my warmest
congratulations. According to all observers, the election of the 16th of April was an
important step towards consolidating democracy and strengthening good governance in
your country. I know you intend to transform Nigeria and I can assure you that France is
determined to provide you its full support for this ambitious project.”

He said he was excited by the role Nigeria played to resolve the Ivoirien crisis as well as the
ongoing Libyan.

“I also want to express my gratitude for your commitment in the Ivorian and Libyan
crises management. We have to continue our dialogue on these major issues. Your role
is essential, both within ECOWAS and the African Union and within the United Nations

Security Council,” he said.

Sarkozy reiterated France’s commitment to strengthening its “strategic partnership with your
country on the basis of agreements made during your predecessor’s visit in Paris in June
2008. Our next meeting in Deauville, on the 27th of May, at the G8 Summit will be, I am
sure, the opportunity to discuss the new development of our relations”.

Author: nmmin

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