WASHINGTON, April 1 (UPI) -- President Barack Obama complimented Nigeria Wednesday on its peaceful transition of power and congratulated incoming President Muhammadu Buhari. "The last few days have shown the world the strength of Nigeria's commitment to democratic principles," Obama said in a statement. "By turning out in large numbers and sometimes waiting all day to cast their votes, Nigerians came together to decide the future of their country peacefully."
He also complimented the Nigerian electorate, which turned out in large numbers to cast votes, and the election commission, which organized the election effort.
Buhari's All People's Congress defeated incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan's People's Democratic Party in a national election relatively free from the violence and chaos often a part of Nigerian elections.
Jonathan conceded the election Tuesday, commencing the country's first democratic transition of power since it won independence in 1960.
Nigeria has Africa's largest population, about 175 million, and largest economy.
British Prime Minister David Cameron also sent congratulations to Buhari, noting the election was "a credit to the Nigerian people and a truly historic moment for Nigerian democracy. The U.K. remains a steadfast partner for Nigeria as it realizes its potential as Africa's economic powerhouse and works to tackle terrorism in the region."
The government's inability to subdue Boko Haram, an Islamist insurgent group within Nigeria whose terror tactics have outraged the world, contributed to the defeat of Jonathan's party.