President Muhammadu Buhari said he respected the independence of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and gave it a pass mark for conducting what he described as free and fair elections in Nigeria.

The elections which were marred by widespread rigging and violence has been described as the worse elections conducted in Nigeria since its return to democratic rule in 1999.

The President made the commendation while delivering his address to commemorate Nigeria's democracy day.

He said, "Today, we are privileged to mark the longest period of unbroken democratic leadership and 5th peaceful transfer of power from one democratically elected government to another in Nigeria.

"Throughout the last four years, I respected the independence of INEC. I ensured that INEC got all the resources it needed for independent and impartial management of elections in the country.

"All interested parties are agreed that the recent elections, which except for pockets of unrest, were free, fair and peaceful.

"I thank all the people who worked for our party, who campaigned and who voted for us. I thank my fellow Nigerians, who, since 2003 have consistently voted for me.

"Victory is your greatest reward; peace, unity and greater prosperity will be our collective leg."

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