Commonwealth Secretary-General, Kamalesh Sharma, has congratulated Nigeria’s President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari, on his victory in the March 28 election.
In a statement, Mr Sharma said history had been made with General Buhari becoming the first Nigerian opposition leader to be elected through the ballot box.
The Secretary-General expressed admiration for the statesmanship and democratic spirit with which President Goodluck Jonathan congratulated the President-elect on his victory, even before the official announcement of the presidential election result on Wednesday.
Ready To Support Nigeria
“The people of Nigeria have demonstrated their deep commitment to democracy by exercising their right, recognised in the Commonwealth Charter, to participate in democratic processes, in particular through free and fair elections, in shaping the society in which they live. It was particularly heartening to see the active participation of young people in the election process,” Mr Sharma said.
Mr Sharma also acknowledged the pivotal role played by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), under the leadership of Professor Attahiru Jega, in delivering a credible election.
The Secretary-General thanked Dr Bakili Muluzi, Chair of the Commonwealth Observer Group to Nigeria’s elections.
In a letter to the former President of Malawi, he said: “My appreciation also extends to the entire Group that you have led so ably. Through your exemplary leadership you have shown a deep commitment to promoting the Commonwealth’s fundamental political values”.
Mr Sharma added that “the Commonwealth remains ready to support Nigeria in the post-election phase”.
INEC declared the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), General Muhammadu Buhari, winner of Nigeria’s presidential election, defeating the incumbent, President Goodluck Jonathan.
The announcement was made by the Chairman of INEC, Professor Attahiru Jega, in the early hours of Wednesday, April 1, after the completion of the collation and announcement of results which started at the collation centre in Abuja, the nation’s capital, on Monday and ended on Tuesday, March 31.
General Muhammadu Buhari of the APC polled a total of 15,424,921 votes to defeat all other candidates, with Dr Goodluck Jonathan of the PDP polling a total of 12,853,162 votes to place second.