goodluck jonathan poised to win nigeria’s election

The Daily Nation reports:

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has taken a wide lead in elections in Africa’s most populous nation, results showed today, putting him on a possible course for a first-round victory.

Millions of voters turned out for Saturday’s election as Africa’s most populous country bid to put years of rigging and badly flawed ballots behind it and hold the cleanest polls for head of state in nearly two decades.

Observers gave the polls an initial thumbs up, but concerns were raised over regional divisions, a scenario many analysts had hoped to avoid in a country as fractious as Nigeria, roughly split between Christians and Muslims.

Results from 30 states showed Jonathan had won 20, while ex-military ruler Muhammadu Buhari had nine and the former head of the anti-graft agency, Nuhu Ribadu, had one state.

Mr. Jonathan’s cross-national victories are a good omen for Nigerian unity moving forward. Now the big question is how Mr. Jonathan and the PDP will govern. Top on the agenda will be Nigeria’s energy problems. Sub Saharan Africa’s largest oil producer also happens to be one of its biggest importers of refined oil products. No new refineries have been built in the country in ages. The country also suffers frequent power outages despite the fact that millions of cubic metres of gas get flared in its oil fields daily. About 23 billion cubic metres get flared annually in Nigeria (second only to Russia).

That is 23 billion cubic metres of gas that can be harnessed for power production or LPG.

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