World Bulletin / News Desk
Nigerian muslim candidate Muhammadu Buhari, who appears to have defeated President Goodluck Jonathan in Nigeria's weekend election, won a cautious endorsement from two U.S. officials on Tuesday.
A U.S. State Department official who asked not to be named said Washington was ready to work with whoever was democratically elected in Nigeria and offered a positive, though cautious, assessment of Buhari.
"Buhari has peacefully contested the last few presidential elections and accepted the results of those votes, even when he questioned the credibility of the process," the official said.
"His leadership of the opposition over these years has demonstrated a commitment to democracy that would seem to suggest he is participating in Nigeria's new era that began in 1999," he said.
U.S. government experts believe Buhari will be a more effective leader and one less prone to accusations of corruption than Jonathan, according to a second U.S. official who spoke on condition of anonymity.
This official said Buhari had a reputation for integrity and suggested that his background as a military commander might help him reform the Nigerian army and other security forces, making them more effective against Boko Haram.
"The General," as Buhari is known to supporters, kicked out an elected government in a 1983 coup d'etat and ushered in an era of military dictatorship in Africa's most populous nation that lasted 15 years.
J. Peter Pham, director of the Atlantic Council think tank's Africa Center, suggested there was a desire on both sides for a new chapter in the relationship.
"There has been such frustration on the part of the administration and policymakers with the last few years of the Jonathan administration that ... a number of people (here) have taken the attitude that any change would be good," he said.
"Any opportunity for a 'reset' in the relationship, or at least to start afresh, I think will be welcomed by both sides."Güncelleme Tarihi: 01 Nisan 2015, 13:13