John Campbell

Africa in Transition

Campbell tracks political and security developments across sub-Saharan Africa.

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Nigeria Prepares for More Elections

by John Campbell
April 22, 2011

A policeman stands in front of a wall, which the local results of presidential elections is pasted, at the Yenagoa electoral commission in Bayelsa. (Joseph Penney/Courtesy Reuters)

Despite negative developments in Uganda and ongoing security issues in Ivory Coast, most of my focus has been on the aftermath of the Nigerian presidential elections. The bottom line seems to be that the northern half of the country—or at least much of it—does not accept incumbent president Goodluck Jonathan’s election. Rioting has been widespread in the North, but it is difficult to get details about it. In the Nigerian press, Goodluck Jonathan and Muhammadu Buhari are being urged to do what they can to resolve the situation. It is unclear to what extent they can influence the rioters in the North, whom I doubt they control. However, at least in some parts of the North, the rioting appears to have subsided, in part because of joint military and police patrols but also because of food distribution issues.

On Tuesday, Nigerians will again go to the polls to elect governors, other local officials, and 15 percent of the National Assembly. The expectation is that these contests may well provoke more unrest. Already, gubernatorial contests in Kaduna and Bauchi have been postponed. To me, this implies that the federal government continues to have serious security concerns about two important northern states.

Post a Comment 2 Comments

  • Posted by hsr0601

    I’m hopeful the dissidents respect the election result.

    During the last 2010 FIFA World Cup, I found growth potential in Africa, please don’t let us down.

  • Posted by Uchenna George-Nkemnacho

    The security concerns with the federal government is not just in the two northern states mentioned. Our security agencies just seem to be ill-prepared to tackle the aftermath of the elections. They lack the use of sophisticated intelligence gathering techniques and are at most times reactionary rather than been proactive. These violence were expected and they were cut napping saying that they were a little bit over-stretched. The issue here is not of the violence been religious/ethnic or political. It is the gross incompetence on the part of our security agencies. This has been seen during the independence day bombings and subsequently. It is our sincere hope that President Jonathan having secured the votes of the majority to truly govern, will now appoint competent personnel to his administration, rather than fall for the political motives of governors who will want to nominate candidates solely because of their support for their candidacy.

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