Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Nigerian campaign speech in London

Presidential candidate Buhari gave a major campaign speech in London a couple days ago.

Why in London? I can think of two good reasons: first of all there's a large and influential group of Nigerian voters in London and, secondly, the international reporting on the speech would be greater than if it were given in Abuja or Lagos  (and will probably be seen by other international groups of Nigerians).

Stanley Lorenzo sent me (thank you) the link to the transcript published in Nigeria's The Sun.

Buhari’s Chatham House speech (full transcript)
Now, let me quickly turn to Nigeria. As you all know, Nigeria’s fourth republic is in its 16th year and this general election will be the fifth in a row. This is a major sign of progress for us, given that our first republic lasted five years and three months, the second republic ended after four years and two months and the third republic was a still-birth. However, longevity is not the only reason why everyone is so interested in this election.

The major difference this time around is that for the very first time since transition to civil rule in 1999, the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is facing its stiffest opposition so far from our party the All Progressives Congress (APC). We once had about 50 political parties, but with no real competition. Now Nigeria is transitioning from a dominant party system to a competitive electoral polity, which is a major marker on the road to democratic consolidation. As you know, peaceful alternation of power through competitive elections have happened in Ghana, Senegal, Malawi and Mauritius in recent times. The prospects of democratic consolidation in Africa will be further brightened when that eventually happens in Nigeria…

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