Shaky administration and growing political violence threaten the
credibility of April's national elections
The political scene has been ominously quiet as several constitutional issues rumble. The most serious is whether the 18 April presidential election can be held within President Olusegun Obasanjo
's mandate. The defeated aspirant for the ruling party's nomination, Alex Ekwueme, has launched a series of legal challenges to Obasanjo's candidacy; the Independent National Election Commission (INEC) has approved only a fraction of the candidates for elections at local, state and national level (AC Vol 44 No 3). Perhaps most damning, diplomatic sources described the electoral register compiled last September as 'about 50 per cent accurate'. The latest register, revamped in January, is said to be an improvement but has just under 67 million names on it. Given a median age of 15, that would give Nigeria a population of well over 140 mn., compared to United Nations and World Bank calculations of under 130 mn. Expect to hear accusations of millions of missing names and millions more inserted to favour the ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP).
The ruling PDP's grip on the state governors is under attack from
Nigeria's 36 state governors have proved a durable crowd. All but two of those elected in 1999 are to stand again for the same party in April's elections (AC Vol 43 No 25). All the...
France's triumphal return to Africa is marred only slightly by
the tricky problems it faces there
It was an impressive turnout. Forty-two heads of state or government braved the icy cold of Paris and its unlovely Porte Maillot conference centre for the biennial Franco-African ...