Successful elections in Nigeria a historic event: Hillary

The successful conclusion of elections in Nigeria is a historic event, even if it was far from perfect, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said.

Updated: Apr 20, 2011, 12:12 PM IST

Washington: The successful conclusion of
elections in Nigeria is a historic event, even if it was far
from perfect, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said.

"This historic event marks a dramatic shift from
decades of failed elections and a substantial improvement over
the 2007 presidential election," Clinton said in a statement
as she applauded the people of Nigeria for their enthusiastic
and orderly participation in the presidential election.

While this election was a success for the people of
Nigeria, it was far from perfect, Clinton said, urging 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," she said.

Clinton said 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," she said.

She congratulated President-elect Goodluck Jonathan,
saying "this election represents a positive new beginning for
Nigeria."

PTI