Many international observers witnessed the election of
Barack Obama as 44th president of the United States and first
African American to occupy the White House. They are among the observers from
90 countries taking part in the US State Department's "I Vote" program.
Among the observers is Rekiya Momah of Nigeria,
who's in city of Rochester in western New York State. Momah spoke to VOA
English to Africa Service reporter Chinedu Offor about the moment when Obama
was announced as the winner of the election.
"The atmosphere was electrifying.
And to think that I came here just to observe, but I am so much more excited,
even more than the average American. Things went so well (that) before 11 p.m.
people have laid out various parties. Everyone calls his or her own victory
party and celebration all around the place. You could walk into any party and
have some drinks and small chops with the people. The atmosphere was very
electrifying, very fulfilling, and it's like WOW! We got there!"
Momah says Nigeria has a big lesson to
learn from the American experience. "There are lots of lessons and I feel like
we still have a long way to come with democracy. The understanding of democracy
is still not what it should be. People still must learn to put country above
self in our various African countries. The problem with us is that we are not
putting country above self; we are now putting individual interest above
country; that should not be it. I was deeply touched -- so much to learn even
about the processes of democracy. Can you think of people going to get
injunctions on the day of elections to be able to vote? It would never have
happened (in Nigeria). So orderly in various places -- I would particularly
take this lessons home."