The European Union (EU) Wednesday congratulated the people of Nigeria on the holding of successful elections in April and for their determination to participate in the democratic life of their country.
“The National Assembly, Presidential, Governorship and State Houses of Assembly elections of 2011 represent a significant improvement on previous years and can be considered at this stage as the most credible elections since Nigeria’s return to democracy in 1999,” said EU High Representative Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton in a statement.
The 27-member European bloc congratulated President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, the Governors and legislators on their election.
Ashton said the EU looks forward to working closely with the new government and legislatures, and to continue partnering with Nigeria in support of good governance, democracy and social and economic growth.
The statement, however, noted that “a number of irregularities and deficiencies were nevertheless observed during the elections,” and Ashton urged the Nigerian government to swiftly assess the electoral process in order to strengthen it further.
The EU condemned all acts of violence surrounding the elections and the ensuing loss of life and displacement of people and encouraged the Nigerian authorities to take the necessary action to protect the rights of all citizens affected and to bring to justice the perpetrators of violence.