Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Optimism from a Nigerian in the US

Imnakoya, a Nigerian living in the US, expresses optimism about Nigerian elections based on reports from friends and family in Africa. This is from his blog, Grandiose Parlor.

Elections 2011: Is the tide turning?
From the Oyinbo-land I live in Upper Midwestern U.S, one could easily be made to believe that the election in Nigeria on Saturday April 9 may not be any different from previous ones marred with widespread violence and electoral fraud. This may not be the case this year. It does appear the violence is limited to just few areas, and the election has been relatively free and fair.

Earlier today, I did get word from the home country that many polling stations in Ondo State that recorded blatant fraud and violent disturbances were peaceful. People came out to vote, voted, and even waited for the votes to be counted, without being intimidated by gun-trotting hoodlums, as was the case 2007. This appears to be the case across most South-western region of the country. This is a significant shift from the last election…

[T]he ground may have shifted, positively, in greater parts of Nigeria. And I must say also that this is expected, given the intense efforts that went into sensitizing the public, intellectually and psychologically.

It is a delight to see at last the use of social media in election process. Several of the candidates featured pages on Facebook and authored blogs. Perhaps, the most significant of these efforts, is the use participatory media and crowd-sourcing in news reports and election monitoring…

Are these activities traces of a new dawn for Nigeria? I do hope so, and I’m excited. While the few evil–mongers may want to throw all the bombs they can, in Nigeria, the tide will certainly turn for the better, just a couple of elections to go…

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