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Jonathan-to-Buhari transition gains recognition in U.S., World Bank



Buhari and Jonathan

Buhari and Jonathan

he seamless transition from the President Goodluck Jonathan’s presidency to the incoming Muhammadu Buhari’s administration is gaining international recognition as representatives of the Buhari’s team took part in the just concluded World Bank spring meeting in Washington DC.

Meanwhile, the Ghanaian President, John Mahama, has called on Nigerians to work towards sustaining the current peaceful atmosphere in the country after the elections, just as he congratulated President Jonathan “on his mature and statesmanly concession of defeat to Buhari in the polls.” President, John Mahama called on Nigerians to work towards sustaining the current peaceful atmosphere in the country after the 2015 general elections even as he congratulated his Nigerian counterpart, President Goodluck Jonathan on his mature and statesmanly concession of defeat to Muhammadu Buhari in the polls.

World Bank and diplomatic sources confirmed to The Guardian yesterday that three representatives of the Buhari’s transition team took part in aspects of the spring meetings. They are Mr. Wale Edun, Ms Ifueko Omoigui-Okaura and Alhaji Abba Kyari.
And just as the World Bank meeting ended at the weekend in the US Capital, Vice President Joe Biden called President Goodluck Jonathan, taking note of his steps towards ensuring a successful transition.

A White House statement issued yesterday evening disclosed that Biden spoke with President Jonathan earlier on Monday. “Vice President Biden spoke today with Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan to commend him for his leadership in ensuring Nigeria’s recent elections were peaceful and orderly.

“The vice president noted that President Jonathan’s actions to accept the results and congratulate President-elect Buhari, as well as his steps to date to ensure a successful transition, have strengthened Nigeria’s democracy and set a strong example for Africa and the world.”

The White House statement concluded that Biden “encouraged President Jonathan to remain engaged and play a leadership role in global issues after his presidency ends.”

The Guardian learnt that as part of the smooth transition, Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, took the three Buhari’s representatives –Edun, Omoigui and Kyari – to a number of interactions with other global financial leaders, including the managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), during the World Bank Spring meeting held at the US Capital.

Similarly, Nigeria’s Ambassador to the US, Prof Ade Adefuye, took the Buhari’s representatives to meet a number of US groups like the Atlantic Council and the Council for Foreign Relations. Adefuye who also confirmed the participation of Edun, Omoigui and Kyari as representatives of the Buhari transition team at the World Bank meetings, added that sinc”e the completion of the Nigerian general elections, there has been a tremendous positive buzz about Nigeria in the US, both from the US government and the society.

“I have received several calls and invitations since after the successful conduct of the elections. What I kept telling them all was ‘I told you so.’”

The Ghanaian President Mahama, who is currently the Chairman of the Authorities of Heads of States of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), told the State House correspondents after he met with Jonathan in Abuja that the Nigerian President’s gesture has earned him and the country immense respect in the international community.

“If you recall, before the elections on behalf of the authority of ECOWAS, I gave a solidarity message to Nigerians to step up to the plate and consolidate your democracy by having a peaceful, free and transparent election. And I believe that the whole world is congratulating you on the peace and stability that has continued to endure both before, during and after the election”.

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