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The United States Ambassador in Nigeria, W. Stuart Symington, on Monday congratulated Nigerians on the presidential and National Assembly elections held last Saturday across the country.

Local and international monitors, including observer teams from various foreign embassies, have largely commended the exercise, despite the violence reported in some locations across the country.

“I congratulate the tens of millions of Nigerians who stood patiently in long lines to vote this week and the hundreds of thousands who worked together with INEC (Independent National Electoral Commission) to conduct the elections,” Symington said in a statement sent to newsmen on Monday.

“As noted by many observer groups in their preliminary reports, this election was predominantly peaceful, and it was proof of the Nigerian people’s resolute commitment to choose their leaders.

“The peaceful achievement of millions was shadowed by the violence of a few. We extend our deepest sympathy to the families of those who lost their lives, and we urge all candidates to honour the Peace Accord they signed.

“All should convince those who support them to refrain from using force or violence to interfere with INEC.

“No one should break the law by announcing results before INEC does, or break the peace by claiming victory before the results are final.

“Everyone has a common interest in showing patience as INEC collates and announces the election results,” the envoy said.

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