Washington D.c. — Foreign Affairs minister, Odein Ajumogobia and U.S secretary of state, Hillary Clinton have praised Kenyans for turning out en masse to vote peacefully on a new constitution for their country. The two spoke at a joint news conference after a bilateral meeting in Washington on Thursday.
Clinton noted that, "This was the first time Kenyans have participated in a poll since the violence that followed the disputed 2007 election.
"Constitutional reform is the centrepiece of the reform agenda that Kenya has adopted for itself. It is aimed at addressing the underlying causes of violence.
"It appears two-thirds of Kenyans have voted in favour of their constitution.
"This is an indication that a very strong majority of Kenyans have voted for fundamental change," she said, noting that the official results were yet to be released.
Clinton urged all parties in the constitutional debate to work together after the referendum to support Kenya's democratic institutions.
On his part, Ajumogobia noted that President Goodluck Jonathan was equally committed to replicating the Kenyan experience in the 2011 elections in Nigeria.
"We have a new government that's stable, and I think I should also acknowledge the role the United States played in bringing about that stability, and President Jonathan is committed to what you described about Kenya.
"That's what we want for ourselves in Nigeria - free and fair elections in which every vote counts and the president is committed to this and has taken steps to demonstrate that commitment," he said.
Ajumogobia explained that Nigeria had a new electoral law that provides a new framework to support free and fair elections.
"We have a new electoral commission headed by a man of integrity.
"It's very unusual to find one individual that no one criticizes, "but we managed to do that with Prof. Jega who is the new chairman of our new Independent Electoral Commission," he said.
Ajumogobia made it known to the U.S. government that the timetable for the elections scheduled for 'sometime in January 2011 was on course.
" It's a tight time frame and a lot has to be done, but we are on course and I will say again on behalf of our president that we will meet the global benchmark for credible elections," he said..