Nicolas MaduroPresident Goodluck Jonathan on Monday in Abuja congratulated Venezuela’s acting President, Mr Nicholas Maduro, on his victory in the presidential elections held on Sunday.

This is contained in a statement issued by Dr Reuben Abati, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity.

The election was held to elect a successor to late President Hugo Chavez.

Jonathan noted that Nigeria and Venezuela have traditionally enjoyed close and cordial bilateral relations.

He said he looked forward to working with Maduro and his administration to reinforce and expand existing trade, economic and developmental cooperation between the two countries.

President expressed the hope that under Maduro’s leadership, Nigeria and Venezuela would continue to work together in close collaboration to strengthen the Africa-South America Cooperation Forum.

He said the platform would be used for the promotion of economic and political cooperation between the two countries and continents.

The president prayed that God would grant Maduro the courage, wisdom and understanding to “lead the people of Venezuela forward in unity and strength to greater progress and development’’.

Maduro will be formally sworn into office on Friday.

Chavez, 58, died on March 5 after a two-year battle with cancer that was first detected in his pelvis. His death ended the socialist leader’s 14-year rule of the South American country.