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Vol 52 No 7

Published 1st April 2011


Results that are fit to print

This month’s elections will be unique – the ruling class cannot agree on who they want to win

Until now, every Nigerian national election has been more or less managed under an elite pact. The richest and most powerful people informally agree to accept the outcome, despite their reservations. The reward is that they will draw adequate compensation from the national patronage machine of public works and oil trading contracts. Such deals have brought elections in which Nigerians’ votes have been blatantly disregarded, while the political parties have developed into companies to disburse patronage. Since the return to civilian rule in 1999, each election has been worse than its predecessor. In 2007, even the victor, the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, admitted the election was seriously flawed.

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