The United States on Thursday congratulated Nigerians upon a ‘successful vote’ that handed president Muhammadu Buhari a second term.

“We commend all those Nigerians who participated peacefully in the election and condemn those whose acts of violence harmed Nigerians and the electoral process,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement.

“We note the assessments of international and domestic observer missions affirming the overall credibility of the election, despite localized violence and irregularities.”

Leading civil society election monitor YIAGA Africa, which has US and British backing, said “the announced election results reflect the votes cast,” even if there were problems.

The United States has built political and economic relations with Nigeria since the restoration of democracy 20 years ago and in recent years has been especially involved in supporting its fight against Boko Haram jihadists.

President-elect Muhammadu Buhari has called on his supporters not to gloat or humiliate the opposition, offering an ‘inclusive government’ to his defeated opponents.

“We will continue to engage all parties. Our government will remain inclusive and our doors will remain open,” he said while receiving his election certificate.

The supporters of the main parties, Buhari’s All Progressives Congress (APC) and Atiku Abubakar’s People’s Democratic Party (PDP), have often clashed over their candidates records on human rights, corruption and democracy.

Buhari also said his government would reform the economy, combat graft and improve security during his second term.

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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