The last time Nigeria had a transparent election was in 1993. Then, opposition leader Moshood Abiola won the election only to be denied the chance to lead Nigeria by strongman Ibrahim Babangida. Mr. Abiola died in jail in 1998. Nigerians had to wait until May of 1999 to see the end of kleptocratic military rule. Mr. Olesegun Obasanjo, a former military ruler, was Nigeria’s first elected president since the early 1980s. His party (Mr. Obasanjo’s) the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has since then won two elections under questionable circumstances, to put it mildly.
The latest election appears to be different.
Initial results show that PDP is set for a thumping in the legislative and governorship races, although its presidential candidate (Goodluck Jonathan) is still the front-runner with 62% approval rating.
Credit goes to Attahiru Jega, a professor of Political Science and head of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), for ensuring that the Nigerian elections have credibility both at home and abroad.
Watch this space for the results of the gubernatorial and presidential elections in the coming weeks.