Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Are you in the know (enough)?

Comments from a former American official about an election little known to Americans.

USA not paying enough attention to Nigeria’s 2019 elections—Ex-CIA chief
Former Central Intelligence Agency, CIA’s senior political analyst on sub-Saharan Africa, Judd Devermont, has expressed concern that the US government and the international community were not paying enough attention to Nigeria’s 2019 presidential election…

“At the minimum, there is a proven playbook to draw on. During the last election in 2015 for instance, U.S. government and other stakeholders feared a repeat of the violence and ballot-rigging that tainted elections in 2003, 2007, and 2011.

“Secretary Kerry travelled to Nigeria, and President Obama issued a video message calling for free, fair and peaceful elections. U.S. officials went as far as threatening visa bans.

“These efforts contributed to the first democratic transition between one party and another in Nigerian history,” Devermont said in a commentary published by the U.S Centre for Strategic and International Studies, CSIS.

Devermont… said the international community should replicate these measures, as well as employ new tactics and broaden its engagements.

He added: “Nigeria’s last election, after all, was historic not only because an incumbent was defeated. It was a breakthrough because citizens insisted their votes should count…

“Nigeria’s democracy and its overall trajectory is far from secure. Indeed, recent governorship elections underscore Nigeria’s fragility as a democracy…

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