Washington DC – President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday in Washington DC said that the continued pressure on the immediate past administration by the United States and some European countries made the general elections in Nigeria to be free and fair.
Buhari said this while responding to the welcome remarks by President Barack Obama, before the start of the bilateral meeting between officials of both countries at the Oval Office of the White House, Washington DC, on the second day of the visit.
He noted that without the external pressure, “we would not be where we are today in Nigeria”.
He recalled that the pressure started from the visit of the United States Secretary of State, John Kerry, to the then Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Attahiru Jega.
“Nigeria will be ever grateful to President Obama and the United States for making Nigeria consolidate its gains on democracy,” Buhari said.
On his trip to the United States, the President said he looked forward to a fruitful visit and engagement with his host government.
He expressed delight that the United States government had indicated interest in partnering and helping the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led administration to bring to fruition its goals of tackling insecurity, corruption and youth unemployment.
In his welcome remarks, Obama said that Buhari came into office with a reputation of integrity and a clear agenda and preparedness to bring peace to Nigeria, curtail the Boko Haram insurgency and root out corruption.
“On both issues of tackling insurgency and corruption in Nigeria, we look forward to how the United States can partner Nigeria to become an outstanding role model for developing countries,” Obama said.
While describing Nigeria as a one of the most important countries in Africa, he also commended the peaceful elections and transition that brought Buhari to power.
Obama lauded Nigeria’s track record in tackling the outbreak of Ebola virus and polio, adding that the United States looked forward to engaging Nigeria in improving its electricity challenges.