Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Nigeria – Africa’s Biggest Democracy Changes Governments Without Violence

On March 28, after a delay of six weeks, Nigeria, Africa’s largest democracy, had a reasonably orderly and largely peaceful election, which changed the governing party for the first time in 16 years.

President Goodluck Jonathan and his PDP (People’s Democratic Party) lost by more than 2.5 million votes to former military dictator (1992) Muhammadu Buhari (APC, All Progressives Congress).

Pre-election polls had considerable variation and Nigerian media outlets like to promote African
soothsayers as much as opinion polls. A couple of credible polls did make clear that the incumbent party faced a very dissatisfied electorate with:
  • 74%  saying country going in wrong direction (Afrobarometer with Pew Research)
  • 86% say corruption very big problem
  • 86% crime very big problem
  • 81% electrical shortage very big problem
  • 72% Islamic extremism very big problem
In all the major criteria – security, economy and governance – Jonathan and PDP were on the defensive.

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