All eyes on Nigeria as March 28 presidential election approaches

With barely a week to go for the most closely and divisive contested election in Nigeria since the end of the military rule in 1999, the leaders are strongly reassuring the populace that the country will remain in peace after all.

It is indeed a general knowledge that the March 28 vote pitting president Goodluck Jonathan, a Christian popular in the his southern oil producing Niger Delta region of the country and in the east, against former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari, a Muslim favored in the north and southwest, is said to be somehow proving violent in major parts of the country.

“Despite the much-vaunted fear that our nation may not survive the elections … I remain optimistic that we have … the maturity to rise above the challenges,” Senate president, David Mark told parliament. “Our nation will not disintegrate after the elections.” But one pure fact remains that all eyes on Nigeria as March 28 presidential election approaches.

While differing opinions are being entertained as to whether the most populous African country would still remain as one if anything goes wrong during the election, most analysts has come to voice it out that even if serious bloodshed follows the election, as many expect, the worst case scenario of a break-up of the country would remain unlikely.

“Nigeria has an enormous capacity to absorb risk,” the International Crisis Group’s Africa director, Comfort Ero said. “While there are significant concerns about the elections, we are not predicting break-up.” However, she added that the republic was “in deep trouble, probably more than at any time since the end of military rule … or even the civil war.”

The last time a bit of Nigeria tried to secede, we all know what it resulted into, the 1960s Biafran war which claimed over a million lives!

After the war however, it appeared as if the country were better off together but the continuous frictions has put some serious doubts into the minds of many as the presidential election in Nigeria approaches.


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