Wednesday, April 01, 2015

5 Key Points To Why Jonathan Lost The Election in Nigeria

Goodluck Jonathan is the first Nigerian sitting president to lose an election. Nigerians are so used to the idea that an incumbent should win presidential elections that President Goodluck Jonathan's failure to beat Gen Muhammadu Buhari needs some explaining. Here are five reasons why the opposition won:

1: PVC and Card Reader
In the elections have been marred by serious irregularities and suspicions of rigging. In 2007 observers said the presidential poll was not "credible". In 2011 the vote was considered to be better but observers said that rigging and fraud still took place, but this time the electoral commission took more steps to prevent rigging, including new biometric voters cards and card readers which were introduced.  In any case, if rigging was ever going to be validated, it would have to be in a state where the ruling party or the opposition had total control to allow for irregularities in PVC and Card Reader proceedings. 

2: Boko Haram and security
The Chibok girls messy situations is the lead story on all the papers throughout the country last year. Nigerian army has made some recent gains against Boko Haram, but not enough to convince Nigerians. The election took place against the background of an Islamist insurgency in the north-east of the country. The Boko Haram militant group has killed 20,000 people and forced some three million others from their homes and President Jonathan was criticised for not getting to grips with this.

3: Strong Opposition and Disjointed PDP
It all started with the break in the strength of the ruling party. The PDP has been described as an election-winning machine. When it was created it united a northern elite with leading politicians from the south, but that alliance has broken up and the party lost some key figures. Including former President Olusegun Obasanjo coming out against Mr Jonathan.

4: Economy
Nigeria's economy is growing but the wealth is not being spread around Nigeria is Africa's biggest oil producer and its largest economy, but many fail to feel the benefits with nearly half the population living below the poverty line. Continued corruption is seen as partly being to blame. National income is due to grow by more than 5% this year and next year, but people did not seem in the mood to thank Mr Jonathan for this.

5: Time for a change
APC supporters chanted "change" as their mantra wherever they went and it seems to have caught the mood and created a wave of song across the country. The PDP has been in power since the end of military rule in 1999, and 2015 is the year that Nigerians decided that someone else should have a go at sorting things out. President-elect Buhari now has to prove he really can change things.


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