#Nigeria’s next presidential election is only 5 days away. As usual the political temperature has reached boiling point and everyone thinks the entire future of the entire country is at stake. Rather than focus on one aspect of the election, I have compiled below, a compendium of the major issues surrounding the election.
The Key Contenders
Bloomberg has published a comparison of President Buhari and his main challenger Atiku Abubakar. It presents the election as a binary choice between “A Former Dictator or Alleged Kleptocrat“.
Voters and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) -@inecnigeria. There are over 84 million registered voters. The distribution of voters s likely to give President Buhari a slight advantage. The north-west (where Buhari hails from) has over 20 million registered voters, and the south-west (where the Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo is from) has over16 million registered voters. In a country like Nigeria where voters often vote on ethno-regional lines, the fact that 42% of registered voters are located in the regions where the president and vice-president are from will be crucial. This article by Idayat Hassan (@hassanidayat) provides a very good summary of the key issues and demographics.
The Role of Women
The UN has published an article lamenting the depressingly low-level of female representation in Nigerian politics. Nigeria has never had en elected female president or state governor. Only 5 of the 73 presidential candidates are women. There are only 7 women in the 109 member Senate, and only 22 of Nigeria’s 360 federal House of Representatives members are women.
Nigerian elections are not just about those who context for elected office. So called “godfathers” are the unseen hands that sponsor candidates, dictate hands from behind the scenes, and influence the country’s political trajectory. The former Governor of Taraba State Reverend Jolly Nyame, once said: “Whether you like it or not, as a godfather you will not be a governor, you will not be a president, but you can make a governor, you can make a president.”
Further Election Coverage
The BBC’s Africa and Nigeria coverage is usually first class. They have put together a good page on Nigeria’s election here.
Great expose by former Cross River State Governor Donald Duke about the sophistication that goes into election rigging in Nigeria. Read and weep.