President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday joined other world leaders to congratulate the president-elect of the United States of America, Donald Trump, who will, today, meet with his predecessor, President Barack Obama in the White House.
President Obama yesterday extended an invitation to the president-elect to meet with him at the White House on Thursday.
Press secretary Josh Earnest said in a statement that the president called both Trump and Hillary Clinton following the results of the election early Wednesday.
In his call with Clinton, Obama “expressed admiration for the strong campaign she waged throughout the country,” Earnest said.
The trip would be Trump’s first inside the White House, and his first face-to-face meeting with Obama.
According to the White House, their meeting will be centered around ensuring a peaceful transition of power.
President Buhari, in a statement issued by his special adviser on media, Femi Adesina, also congratulated American citizens on the outcome of the keenly contested election between the Republican Party’s candidate and Hillary Clinton of the Democratic Party.
The presidential spokesman said that Buhari looks forward to working with Trump in order to strengthen the already established friendly relations between both countries, including cooperation on many shared foreign policy priorities such as the fight against terrorism, peace and security, economic growth, democracy and good governance.
“As Mr Trump prepares to assume the position of the president of the United States, President Buhari extends his good wishes to him on the onerous task of leading the world’s strongest economy,” Adesina said.
Trump, with his campaign slogan, ‘Lets Make America Great Again,’ surprised Americans by emerging winner of the elections, when he began gaining grounds early hours of Wednesday, in the key swing states of Florida, North Carolina and Ohio. Trump went beyond expectations and won the election as the president-elect with running mate, Mike Pence as Vice President-elect.
Clinton began to lose after the Republican picked up a series of states early on and maintained his momentum, even shocking many by unexpectedly clinching Florida.
Mr Trump’s success in Florida was backed up by wins in the key states of Ohio, North Carolina and Pennsylvania.
Clinton managed to win the states of Virginia and Colorado, but it was obvious she needed to take Michigan, Nevada, Iowa and Pennsylvania to have any chance.
Hillary Clinton has called Trump to congratulate him on his victory.
Clinton had the support of far more celebrities than Donald Trump during the race for the White House, some of whom hinted they would even move to Canada if Mr Trump won the election.
Clinton previously, won 16 states and DC, while Trump won 22 states.
At the early hours of the morning, Trump won Florida and Georgia, leading at 232 to Clintons 209. It was at that time that certainty came into play that Trump was most likely be the 45th President of the United States.
And things became more obvious later when Trump won Utah.
He had an edge in Arizona, Wisconsin, Pennsylvannia, while Hillary won Maine, New Hampshire, and Minnesota.
Trump eventually gained grounds with 244 collegiate votes to Clinton’s 215. It was obvious then that she had to win all the remaining states to be back in the lead, but that became unlikely, as Trump maintained leadership of the votes to become President.
In his victory speech, the president-elect stated, “I would be president for all Americans.”
In Nigeria, Senate President Abubakar Bukola Saraki, in his congratulatory message, remarked that Trump persevered through a very challenging Republican primary election cycle where he defeated 16 professionals and well-organised candidates, and that while many career politicians tried to write off his candidacy as a non-starter, he stuck to his objective and controlled the daily media messaging like no other candidate in the history of American presidential campaigns.
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, in a statement signed by his special adviser on media and public affairs, Turaki Hassan, expressed optimism that the cordial relationship between Nigeria and the US would be maintained under the incoming administration. He noted that Americans had made their choice and the international community, whatever their preferences, must accept and respect the wishes of the American people.
The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), in its reaction to Trump’s victory at the poll, said that Americans had actually been affected by the change mantra that brought Buhari into office in 2015.
The party, while congratulating the US over the just concluded election, said the country had bought into the change message canvassed by the president-elect and Republican candidate, Donald Trump.
The national chairman of APC, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, in his reaction, said that Americans had spoken by voting Trump and “there is nothing much that the party would say than to congratulate them.”
Also commenting on Trump’s victory, the APC national auditor, Chief George Moghalu, said, “First and foremost, l want to congratulate Americans. It is about the people. It is their affairs. But while congratulating them, and not depriving them of their choice, l was a little bit worried before and during the election, especially from the side of the president-elect, Donald Trump, with regards to his foreign policy.”
Similarly, the Senator Ahmed Makarfi-led Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) also congratulated Trump and urged him to formulate policies that will ensure a mutually beneficial relationship between the US and Africa in general, and Nigeria in particular.
Similarly, top officials at the European Union have congratulated Trump and invited him for an urgent US-EU summit.
In a joint letter, Donald Tusk, president of the European Council, and Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, urged him to come to Europe for talks “at your earliest convenience”.
Tusk and Juncker are seeking reassurance on key issues on which Trump’s remarks on the campaign trail have rattled European leaders, including migration, climate change and Russia’s threat to Ukraine.
In the same vein, the NATO secretary-general, Jens Stoltenberg, said he was looking forward to working with Trump, adding that US’ leadership was vital to the world’s biggest military alliance.
“It is important that the transatlantic bond remains strong”, he said, adding that “US leadership is as important as ever.”
Stoltenberg said he was looking forward to welcoming Trump at next spring’s NATO summit, to be held in the group’s new premises in Brussels.
In the United Kingdom, Theresa May congratulated Trump on his victory in a hard-fought campaign, saying Britain and the US have “an enduring and special relationship based on the values of freedom, democracy and enterprise”.
“We are, and will remain, strong and close partners on trade, security and defence. I look forward to working with President-elect Donald Trump, building on these ties to ensure the security and prosperity of our nations in the years ahead,” she said.
Also, Vladimir Putin of Russia sent Trump a telegram to congratulate him.
Speaking at a ceremony in Kremlin, the Russian president said: “We heard the campaign slogans when he was still a candidate which were aimed at restoring relations between Russia and the United States.
“We understand that it will not be an easy path given the current state of degradation in the relations. And, as I have repeatedly said, it’s not our fault that Russian-American relations are in such a poor state. But Russia wants, and is ready, to restore full-fledged relations with the United States.
“I repeat we understand that this will be difficult, but we are ready to play our part, and do everything to return Russian-American relations to stable and sustainable development track. This would serve the interests of both the Russian and American peoples, and would have a positive effect on the general climate of global affairs given the special responsibility of Russia and the US to sustain global security.”
On his part, French president François Hollande was unenthusiastic about the US presidential election outcome. He had openly endorsed Clinton.
According to him, Trump’s win “opens up a period of uncertainty” that “must be faced with lucidity and clarity.”
However, he congratulated Trump “as is natural between two heads of state” but said “certain positions taken by Donald Trump during the American campaign must be confronted with the values and interests we share with the United States,” he said.
“What is at stake is peace, the fight against terrorism, the situation in the Middle East. It is economic relations and the preservation of the planet.”
France Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said European politicians should heed the message from Trump votes.
“There is a part of our electorate that feels abandoned”, including people who feel “left behind by globalisation,” he said.
Saudi Arabia’s King Salman expressed hope that Trump would bring stability to the Middle East.
“We wish your excellency success in your mission to achieve security and stability in the Middle East and worldwide,” he said, praising US-Saudi relations, which are “historic and tight between the two friendly countries, that all parties aspire to develop and reinforce.”
Equally, in a statement in Turkey, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said: “The election marks the beginning of a new era in the United States. I hope that the American people’s decision will facilitate audacious steps being taken regarding fundamental rights and liberties and democracy in the world and regional developments.
“Personally and on behalf of the nation, I wish to consider this decision by the American people a positive sign and wish them a successful future.”
Expectedly, German Chancellor Angela Merkel reminded Trump of the enormous leadership responsibility that his office entails.
She said: “There’s no country we Germans have as close a relationship with as the United States of America. Whoever rules this vast country, with its enormous economic strength, its military potential, its cultural influence, carries a responsibility which is felt all over the world.
“Americans have decided that the person to carry this responsibility for the next four years is Donald Trump. Germany and America are connected by common values: democracy, freedom, respect for the law and for human dignity irrespective of origin, skin colour, religion, gender, sexual orientation or political conviction.
“On the basis of these values, I offer the future president of America, Donald Trump, a close working relationship.
“Partnership with the USA remains a basic pillar of German foreign policy in order for us to meet the great challenges of our time: striving for economic and social wellbeing and a forward-looking climate policy, the fight against terrorism, hunger and disease, engagement for peace and freedom, in Germany, Europe and all over the world.”
Similarly, Italy’s Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi, who was a vocal supporter of Hillary Clinton even before she secured the Democratic Party’s nomination, offered his congratulations to Trump “in the name of Italy” and said he was convinced that the friendship between Italy and the US was strong and solid.
“It’s a new political fact that, along with other things, demonstrates that we are in a new stage,” Renzi said. “Who would say that Trump would win? It is that way and we respect it; we will cooperate with the new American president and have a relationship between the EU and Italy.”
Pope Francis did not mention the US elections during yesterday’s audience, but secretary of state, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, offered Trump congratulations in a statement to Vatican Radio, wishing that “his government can be truly fruitful”.
He added the Vatican offered its prayers “that the Lord illuminates and sustains him in service of his country, naturally, but also in the service of the well-being and peace of the world”.
Parolin concluded by noting that “there is need for everyone to work to change the global situation, which is in a situation of severe lacerations and great conflict.”
Also, the prime minister of Spain, Mariano Rajoy, congratulated the new US president on his victory and vowed to work with him to strengthen Spain’s relationship with an “indispensable ally”.
Spain’s foreign ministry said it was confident that the new era of bilateral relations would serve to “reinforce and consolidate” Spain’s partnership with the US and “deepen the friendship between our countries and peoples”.
But Pablo Iglesias, leader of the anti-austerity Podemos Party was less welcoming. Above a picture of the famous black power salute at the 1968 Olympics and an emoji of a clenched fist, he tweeted: “The vaccine against Trump’s fascism is social justice and human rights, not more establishment. There are people in the US who will resist.”
President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi of Egypt said his country wanted to see more “cooperation and coordination” between the two nations to bolster stability and peace in the Middle East.
He telephoned Trump to offer his congratulations and invited him to visit Egypt.
In the same vein, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel congratulated Trump and called him a “true friend of the State of Israel”.
Netanyahu said that he believes the two leaders “will continue to strengthen the unique alliance between our two countries and bring it to ever greater heights”.
The news of Trump’s election was greeted cautiously by Palestinian figures. A spokesman for the Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas said: “We will deal with any president elected by the American people on the principle of achieving permanent peace in the Middle East based on the two-state solution on June 4, 1967 lines with east Jerusalem as its capital.”
President Hassan Rouhani of Iran reacted to Trump’s win by declaring that it would not change the trajectory of his country’s foreign policy.
“The US election results will have no impact on the policies of the Islamic Republic. Because of wrong policies, the position of America in the international community and world’s public opinion has diminished and [the US’s] growing rift with Europe and the world will exacerbate that position,” he said.
Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, said the US had to continue respecting last year’s landmark nuclear agreement.
“America has to implement the international obligation it accepted under the nuclear deal.”
Prime minister of Iraq, Haider al-Abadi, also praised Trump for his victory and said he was looking forward to continued support in his country’s fight against Islamic State.
In a statement on his website, Abadi said he hopes the “world and the United States will continue to support Iraq in fighting terrorism.”
But apparently influenced by Trump’s threat towards Mexico, the country’s former presidential candidate, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, called for calm.
In a video on Facebook, he said Mexico was “a free, independent, sovereign country: it is not a colony; it is not a protectorate; it does not depend on any foreign government.”
However, Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau congratulated Trump and stressed the close friendship and ties between the two nations.
“The relationship between our two countries serves as a model for the world. Our shared values, deep cultural ties, and strong integrated economies will continue to provide the basis for advancing our strong and prosperous partnership,” he said
According to the Canadian government, nearly 400,000 people a day cross the shared border between Canada and the US. Also, the US accounted for 60 per cent of Canada’s global trade in 2014, a relationship underpinned by Nafta.
Interestingly, during his campaign, Trump had described the agreement as “the worst trade deal in history” and vowed to renegotiate the terms, vowing to withdraw the US from the deal if Canada and Mexico refuse.
Cambodia’s long-serving, authoritarian Prime Minister, Hun Sen, also congratulated Trump. On his official Facebook page, Hun Sen pointed out that he had announced his support for the Republican candidate several days earlier.
“American voters have shown their choice to elect your Excellency,” he wrote. “My support for your candidacy is not wrong either.”
Chinese state media said President Xi Jinping had called Trump to congratulate him on his victory.
“I place great importance on the China-US relationship, and look forward to working with you to uphold the principles of non-conflict, non-confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation,” Xi was reported to have told Trump.
Xi also told Trump he hoped the two sides could avoid “conflict and confrontation [and] instead achieve cooperation and a win-win [relationship]”.
A spokesperson for China’s foreign ministry said Beijing was looking forward to working with the new administration.
The state-run Xinhua news agency said the campaign highlighted that “the majority of Americans are rebelling against the US’s political class and financial elite.”
The official Communist party newspaper, People’s Daily, said the presidential election reveals an “ill democracy”.
Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, sent his “heartfelt congratulations” to Trump.
Abe said that “as a very successful businessman with extraordinary talents, not only that you made a great contribution to the growth of the US economy, but now as a strong leader, you have demonstrated your determination to lead the United States.”
Japan, a key US ally, said it would work closely with Trump to ensure stability in the Asia-Pacific region.
Katsuyuki Kawai, an aide to Abe, said he was planning to fly to Washington to meet Trump officials as early as next week.
Officials in Tokyo denied that Abe had decided to send Kawai to the US because Japan had failed to prepare for a Trump victory.
Prime Minister of Malaysia, Najib Razak, who is embroiled in a corruption scandal at home that is being investigated in the United States, sent a congratulatory message to Trump.
He said: “Mr Trump’s success shows that politicians should never take voters for granted. Opinion polls, and established political figures, all underestimated the strength of his support. His appeal to Americans who have been left behind – those who want to see their government more focused on their interests and welfare, and less embroiled in foreign interventions that proved to be against US interests – have won Mr Trump the White House.”
He added the US and Malaysia “are firm allies in the worldwide fight against terrorism and extremism.”
Pakistan’s former president and army chief, Pervez Musharraf, congratulated Trump on “his historic election”.
Writing on Facebook, he said the president-elect “should not quit from Afghanistan”, the country where some US and international forces remain in place.
“I hope he will focus keenly to bring peace and stability around the world and demonstrate deliberate leadership in resolving the conflicts in the Indo-Pakistan subcontinent,” he wrote.
“We must trust and work together to crush terrorism and eliminate extremism from a position of strength.”
The Philippines’ president, Rodrigo Duterte, who branded Obama a “son of whore” earlier this year, offered “warm congratulations” to Trump.
Duterte, who has expressed outrage almost daily with the Obama administration and threatened repeatedly to end one of Washington’s most important Asian alliances, hailed the success of US democratic system and the American way of life, according to his communications secretary Martin Andanar.
Kenya’s president, Uhuru Kenyatta, congratulated Trump for his “victorious campaign” and Clinton for her “valiant effort”.
Kenyatta reminded Trump that the “ties that bind Kenya and the United States of America are old, and based in the values that we hold dear: in democracy, in the rule of law, and in the equality of peoples.
“These values remain dear to the peoples of both nations, and so our friendship will endure,” he said.