Jump to navigation

Published 17th April 2015

Vol 56 No 8


Nigeria

'No condition is permanent'

Nigeria 2015 Presidential and Gubernatorial Elections Map
Nigeria 2015 Presidential and Gubernatorial Elections Maps

View full-sized image

The credibility of the election and transition breaks the political mould and opens up the possibility of radical change

One of President Goodluck Jonathan's campaign advisors had it all figured out a few weeks before the presidential election on 28 March. 'Nigerian elections are all about regional loyalties and identities, religious and otherwise', he explained, stretching out a map of the country on the table. 'Our man,' said the advisor, who hailed from the Niger Delta, 'is going to win big in the South-South and the south-east, get all the Christian votes in the Middle Belt and the north – and there are more there than you think – and of course those sophisticated south-westerners will never vote for an austere Muslim like Buhari.'

READ FOR FREE

Mending fences

Militant fighters ponder their options after Jonathan loses power and a showdown over oil theft looks likely

It has been a bad month for the Niger Delta in both personal and political terms. The death of activist lawyer Oronto Douglas on 9 April, after a long struggle with cancer, has rob...


INEC and high-tech

The new technology helped combat fraud but old-fashioned politics determined the outcome

The accolades heaped on Attahiru Jega and his team at the Independent National Electoral Commission for organising the country's most credible elections to date make much of the us...



BLUE LINES
THE INSIDE VIEW

The 91-year-old President Robert Mugabe's State visit to his stripling of a 73-year-old counterpart, President Jacob Zuma, left observers wondering which of them was in better shape. Zuma is beset on all sides: his popularity is plummeting. Unemployment, corruption, the falling rand and the Eskom crisis are eating away at his authority. Mugabe, unlike his compatriots, seems to have a serene existence.

Mugabe has weathered more violent storms than his neighbour and been ...

The 91-year-old President Robert Mugabe's State visit to his stripling of a 73-year-old counterpart, President Jacob Zuma, left observers wondering which of them was in better shape. Zuma is beset on all sides: his popularity is plummeting. Unemployment, corruption, the falling rand and the Eskom crisis are eating away at his authority. Mugabe, unlike his compatriots, seems to have a serene existence.

Mugabe has weathered more violent storms than his neighbour and been prematurely written off so often that few dare to do so any more, regardless of his extreme age. Zuma may look enviously at his fellow comrade's freedom from bothersome elements like independent courts, parliament and free media but Mugabe has had 35 years to whittle away at such institutions.

Between 7th and 9th April, every South African commentator found some apposite comparison between the two nations born of anti-colonial war but in the end it was the legacy of their common enemy that offered the strongest symbol. Cecil Rhodes, the founder of one nation and the super-exploiter of the other, still had the symbolic power to stir passions. Students attacked the statue of him at the University of Cape Town and it was removed for safe keeping. Mugabe, whose country hosts Rhodes's grave, quipped, 'We have his corpse and you have his statue. What do you want us do with him? Dig him up? We cannot tell you what to do with the statue but we and my people feel we need to leave him down there.'

Read more

Garissa security shambles

The government failed to heed warnings of imminent attacks and reacted with ill-thought out measures

In what is becoming a familiar pattern after terrorist attacks, the government’s response to the massacre at Garissa University College (GUC) on 2 April was unfocused and hap...


Poison plots and power games

President Zuma cancelled the results of ANC elections in Durban because the wrong candidates won

A new conference to elect regional leaders of the African National Congress is to be held at the end of April after President Jacob Zuma declared February's vote void. He cancelled...


Troubled road to liberalism

The Prime Minister is set to come out of Meles’s shadow after the elections with greater emphasis on the free market. Not all are on board

Come October, Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn will almost certainly be re-elected as Chairman of the ruling Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front with only token, i...


Biya’s emerging dream

Dealing with Eurobonds appeals more to a President of 82, who still has no heir, than tackling Boko Haram

Could there be substance to President Paul Biya's claim that Cameroon can secure 'emerging market' status by 2035, leisurely as that deadline is? The potential to attract investmen...


New beginnings

The international community is backing the new optimism about the country’s prospects with cash but the military’s bad habits die hard

The euphoria that greeted the pledge of some US$1.5 billion at the 25 March donor conference in Brussels has not stifled all doubts about the political future. There is no shortage...


Nyusi finds the cupboard bare

The new President's team has found a huge hole in government finances. A frantic hunt is on for hundreds of millions of missing dollars

President Filipe Nyusi's new era – a decisive break with the policies and personalities of ex-President Armando Guebuza – has begun with an apparent financial disaster....



Pointers

Kampala murder mystery

Police investigating the murder of the Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions, Joan Namazzi Kagezi, on 31 March by two men on a motorbike have rounded up dozens of suspects. Kag...


Passport to penury

Senegal's visa requirement, in force since 1 July 2013, will end on 1 May, President Macky Sall announced at the 4 April Independence celebrations. It may be a welcome surprise for...


Coup plotters sentenced

A five-member court martial headed by High Court Judge Emmanuel A. Amadi, a Nigerian, on 30 March sentenced six Gambian soldiers convicted of the 31 December attempted coup. All we...


A no vote election

The pitiful turnout in the 13-16 April elections defeats the government's aim in organising them. The only queues which journalists and activists found to photograph were of police...