By Johnbosco Agbakwuru, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday showered praises on the outgoing President of Niger Republic, Mahamadou Issoufou and the citizens of the country for the peaceful and successful conduct of the presidential and parliamentary elections on December 27.
Speaking at an audience with Architect Namadi Sambo, former Nigerian Vice-President and Leader of the ECOWAS Electoral Observation Mission (EOM), appointed to oversee the elections, President Buhari said President Issoufou deserved to be congratulated on how he organised and conducted the elections.
In a statement issued by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, Buhari said, “I have been very, very impressed by what I have been seeing and hearing. I will call to congratulate him. Issoufou is going home with honour and grace. All is well that ends well.”
While noting the smooth and peaceful conduct of the elections in the Niger Republic, the President, however, expressed regrets over reported incidents of violence in some other countries in the sub-region.
According to him, “Seeing how bloody it has been in some other countries, Issoufou must be congratulated on working out this so well so that he will hand over and go quietly.”
President Buhari also praised the work of the ECOWAS Mission to the Niger Republic under Architect Sambo, describing it as very impressive.
In his remarks, the former Vice-President described the elections as “successful, free and fair. The elections went well. No incident had created an alarm,” while expressing the hope that this peaceful conduct will continue.
He also conveyed to President Buhari the gratitude of members of the Mission for the support given by Nigeria, and the deep appreciation of the government and people of Niger Republic for Nigeria’s continuous cooperation, support and encouragement.