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calendar   Saturday - March 28, 2015

Purple Finger Time

[ Rats. I was hoping I could title this one “To the Bhat polls, Rabin”. Alas, Bhat is a boiled rice dish eaten in India, not Nigeria*. All I can say here is “Goodluck, Jonathan” ]


Nigeria Casts Their Votes

Nigerians brave Boko Haram to cast ballots

In northern Nigeria and bordering countries, a regional offensive is underway against the ruthless Islamist terrorist group, Boko Haram. The campaign comes in the midst of a postponed election and a tightly contested presidential race.

After a six week delay, Nigerians will head to the polls Saturday to vote in presidential and national assembly elections. The security environment in northern Nigeria has improved over the last six weeks, yet Boko Haram still has both means and motive to disrupt and discredit the electoral process. This danger is particularly strong in Northeastern Nigeria where the militant group is trying to establish an ‘Islamic Caliphate’ under Sharia law.

Conducting elections amid a violent insurgency is challenging enough, but Nigeria’s situation is further complicated by the possibility of post-electoral violence. In the wake of Nigeria’s last presidential and national assembly elections in 2011, rioting by those dissatisfied by the results left more than 800 people dead. And tensions are high once again.

This year’s presidential contest is extremely close. While both the incumbent, President Goodluck Jonathan, and the main opposition leader, General Muhhamadu Buhari, have signed a peace agreement, observers remain concerned about how their political supporters will react once the election results are known.

On Monday, a political rally of General Buhari’s supporters escalated to violence. Participants slashed President Jonathan’s posters and hurled rocks at his campaign office in Kaduna, a city in the North that was an epicenter of violence in the previous election between President Jonathan and General Buhari. The stakes are even higher this cycle.

So, if Obama’s efforts to bring back psycho dictator Buhari fail, riots will ensue? Sounds like that side has “escalated” to violence ahead of time. Bit of a threat perhaps?

For Nigeria, this is a watershed moment—for national security, for the economy and for democratic governance. The West African country is an anchor in the region. It boasts the region’s largest population (about 170 million people), serves as a cultural driver, and pushes Africa’s economic progress. Yet Nigeria is plagued with severe corruption, violent Islamist terrorists and severe economic disparity.

And if Goodluck Jonathan wins, how will Obama punish them, like he tried to do when he blew it in Israel?


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 03/28/2015 at 05:41 PM   
Filed Under: • Africa •  
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