Recent Elections in Nigeria

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
April 28, 2011
Electoral Official With Ballots in Nigeria

Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Johnnie Carson held a special briefing today on the recent elections in Nigeria. Assistant Secretary Carson said:

"Nigeria has just completed its most successful elections since its return to multiparty democracy in 1999. Despite some technical imperfections, those elections represent a substantial improvement over the flawed 2007 electoral process. This reverses a downward democratic trajectory and provides the country a solid foundation for strengthening its electoral procedures and democratic institutions in the years to come. The Nigerian people have shown to the world their resilience and will to have their voices heard. These elections were a real opportunity to choose their leaders.

"This week, Nigerian voters returned to the polls for the fourth time and final time to select their state assembly members and governors. On April 26th, all but two states held elections. Elections in Kaduna and Bauchi states occurred April 28th to give additional time for security to return to those two areas. International and domestic observers reported the April 26th elections to be generally well organized, albeit with a lower turnout in various locations compared with voter turnout earlier this month.

"Following the deplorable post-election violence of the previous week, we are heartened that many Nigerian voters went to the polls to vote in an environmentally -- environment largely free of violence. We remain concerned about allegations of fraud and ballot box snatching in various jurisdictions, and we strongly urge Nigerian authorities to investigate and take corrective actions on all of these allegations. We commend the Independent National Electoral Commission and especially its chairman, Professor Jega, and the security services for addressing challenges and improving their efforts with each progressive election.

"We are confident that INEC leaders will continue to take steps to further improve the electoral process to ensure that some political actors do not divert to their old -- revert to their old ways of subverting the will of the Nigerian electorate. We are partners in the international community, and will not hesitate to take appropriate action against individuals of any political party who seek to undermine the integrity of the electoral process, whether at the state, national, or local elections.

"Again, we congratulate the people of Nigeria on holding very successful elections."

You can read the full transcript of the special briefing here.

Comments

Comments

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
April 29, 2011

Eric in New Mexico writes:

I wonder if any political researcher has done a study on the average number of elections a nation must hold consistantly and peacefully, for the process to have become established as a traditional institution of political process that endures without question of an orderly transition of leadership?

Even America has had its moments of doubt about outcomes, but we work it out without bloodshed in the courts if neccessary.

It's good to see the nations and peoples of Africa standing for democracy as an institution and working to establish that process as a permanent part of the political landscape on the continent.

One can say democracy is a noisy, messy process but compare that to the noise and mess produced by a Mugabe, Bagbo, or Ghaddafi, and it looks rather tame and diciplined.

Personally, I've voted for so many losers of elections that I'm ok with the notion that even if I didn't vote for the guy, he's still my president.

I figure it's only fair to allow the fellow to earn my trust over time until the next election comes along.

I think stability lies in the fact that people can trust there will be a point in time where accountability will be rendered by their vote.

Congrats to the people of Nigeria!

Melissa
|
Maryland, USA
April 29, 2011

Melissa in Maryland writes:

Isn't it a little early to be congratulating Nigeria on these elections? They are still voting, and the post-election violence left 100s dead and more injured.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
April 29, 2011

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ Melissa,

The Nigerian people have made a worthy effort that has produced a democratic result through an inclusive process despite all the hassles, and they are to be congratulated on that I think so that's why I did in a timely manner.

How the Dept of State wants to answer your question is up to them.

Best regards,

EJ

Melissa
|
Maryland, USA
April 30, 2011

Melissa in Maryland writes:

@ Eric -- We've all voted for losers, haven't we? Just watch an hour of CSPAN and that becomes painfully clear.

I think it is both premature and presumptouus of the U.S. to congratulate Nigeria on these elections. But that's just my two cents.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
May 1, 2011

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ Melissa,

Yeah, my sides are hurting from doing just that.

"http://www.c-span.org/Events/Live-Coverage-2011-White-House-Corresponden..."

Waiter...reality check please, I've had more than my fill...of THE DONALD.

But I see that both the reigning king jester of Saterday Night Live and the reigning president of pun n' jab, D.C. ( district of comedians ), neglected to fully analyze the "Art of Diplomacy" according to the Trumped up one....

Well, I'm certainly glad they left me some fat "alien" policy leftovers, I'd say their flambe' roasting effort wasn't crispy-crittered to my effectively "well done " clown status, but I'll endeavor to give good conundrum to shed some deep mystery on the subject in the next installment of "Dipnote, the wierd week in review"

Coming to a posting near you round about this next manic Monday.

P.S. If you arn't going to congratulate the people of Nigeria, would you bemoan their fate, and offer your pity instead?

It might be too soon for that either.

Have a nice weekend,

EJ

Smith
|
Nigeria
May 23, 2011

Smith in Nigeria writes:

The elections in Nigeria though marred with logistics problem in some areas and the post election violence should not be used to dis credit the whole process which shows a significant improvement from past elections..

Congrats to the electorates...

.

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