Democracy, Development and Implications for Nigeria’s future post 2015 presidential elections

With the conclusion of Nigeria’s 2015 presidential elections, there are high hopes for the future of a new political era in the country with many anticipating positive changes.  But given the history of the country to date, what can be anticipated from the new political regime? What is the fate of Nigeria moving forward? 

 The 2015 election is considered by many to have been peaceful and orderly, the apparent result of a joint West African regional military attack against Boko Haram, and the good behavior of Nigerian citizens determined to exercise their democratic rights. Nigeria election officials reported that General Buhari took 15.4 million votes, while president Jonathan took 13.3 million votes at the time he conceded to Gen. Buhari in a phone call, marking the first time in Nigeria's history that an opposition party has democratically taken control of the country from the ruling party. Historically, Gen. Buhari has supported the northern Islamic agenda, but claims to have converted to democracy. The 72-year-old retired general last held power for nearly two years after a coup he led in 1983. He ran for president in 2011 and lost to Jonathan. His loss was followed by rioting in the northern part of the country that left more than 800 people dead.

Barely four days after Gen. Buhari was declared winner of the presidential election, suspected Niger Delta militants have blown up a major high pressure gas pipeline in Delta State. The incident which allegedly occurred around 2:30 am on Friday, April 3rd, point to the challenges ahead of Nigeria. Analysts warn the President-elect may have his hands full in containing economic sabotage. According to the Nigerian Vanguard Newspaper (article), a group of Urhobo youths under the umbrella of Urhobo Gbagbako claimed responsibility for the March 22nd bombings of the pipelines. 

There are also reports that some former leaders of the Niger Delta militants are meeting in response to Gen. Buhari’s election victory over Jonathan. With the conclusion of Nigeria’s 2015 presidential elections, there are high hopes for the future of a "new political era" in the country with many anticipating positive economic and social changes. Nigeria remains a country to watch. What are the implications of the March 28th elections for Nigeria, its history, its future and its democracy? Enjoy our panel's analysis of the election by three Nigerians from different regions of the country representing different political views.

PANEL: 

  • Stella Lebi, human rights activist and a former Foreign Service Officer of Nigeria, and an expert on War Studies, Law and Diplomacy.
  • Dr. Patrick Ifedi, professor of political science at Howard University and Executive Director of Council on African World Affairs, a foreign affairs organization based in Washington DC. 
  • Dr. Adeniyi Ojutiku is co founder of Lift Up Now Foundation, a USA-registered NGO engaged in developing and disseminating frameworks for sustainable political and democratic governance in Africa. He represents North Carolina on the Southern Regional Education Board of the United States.

With AfrobeatRadio usual suspects: Tyrene Wright, Delphine Vakunta & Wuyi Jacobs.

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PODCAST: NIGERIA ELECTIONS 2015: "BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE

A discussion on issues arising and the conflicts during and leading to the 2015 General Elections in Nigeria, including the growing political violence Nigeria due to the ongoing power struggle and the impact Boko Haram insurgency, it implications for Nigeria's future, for Africa and the African Diaspora.