Nigeria after the 2011 general elections.

Author:Ojo, Jide

"Nigeria's general elections were held from April 9--May 6, 2011. The elections started with the National Assembly (Senatorial and House of Representatives) elections on April 9, followed by the presidential elections on April 16 and gubernatorial elections on April 26. Gubernatorial elections in Bauchi and Kaduna State were postponed and held on April 28 as a result of post election violence that trailed the presidential election in which Human Rights Watch claimed in a May 18, 2011 report that 800 lives were lost and property worth billions of Naira were destroyed. A political logjam ensued in Imo State as the April 26 gubernatorial election in the State was declared inconclusive. A supplementary election was thereafter held in four local governments and one ward on May 6 before the governorship election was concluded.

Thereafter, observer groups have taken turns to release their final reports on the polls. The European Union Observation Mission (EU EOM) presented its final report on the elections on May 31. In the opinion of the Mission: "The legal framework, the general performance of the Independence National Electoral Commission INEC and of other stakeholders provided for the 2011 General Elections an overall democratic foundation for further democratic development in accordance with international principles and with international instruments ratified by the Federal Republic of Nigeria."

In its closing report on the elections released on May 18, Project Swift Count 2011 made up of Federation of Muslim Women Association of Nigeria (FOMWAN), Justice Development and Peace Commission (JDPC)/Caritas, Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) and Transition Monitoring Group (TMG) observed thus". ... the Nigerian voting populace were provided with opportunity to exercise their franchise and in general their votes were counted. The April general elections were conducted within the frameworks of and conformed to the Nigerian Constitution, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) protocols on Democracy and Good Governance, and the African Union (AU) Declaration on the Principles Governing Democratic Elections in Africa.

While the elections were not perfect, they marked a departure from flawed and sour elections that this country has experienced over the last twelve years, particularly the 2007 elections. The elections were generally characterized by the determination of INEC to halt the history of fraudulent elections and the desire of many...

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