The latest episode of our 4th Republic podcast takes a look at the 2011 Elections. Following the messy 2007 Nigerian Elections won by the relatively unknown Katsina State Governor, Umaru Yar’ Adua, his administration sought to build credibility in the electoral process by appointing a new Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) chair and signing the 2010 Electoral Act. Major players in the 2011 elections were the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP), All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP) as well as two newly formed parties: Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), and the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). This election offered a flash of change as the two new parties became prominent opposition against the ruling parties.
Despite the statistics, Nigerians had two main options – Muhammadu Buhari, running for the third time, and Goodluck Jonathan, the Vice President to the now-deceased President Yar’Adua. His death in May 2010 triggered a debate about the zoning of the country’s highest office. With the ongoing global economic crisis and Yar’Adua’s ill health, the country was desperate for a leader; desperation that produced a wave of violence that threatened to impact the progress of Nigeria’s democracy.
In spite of the controversy and initial postponement, Jonathan became the first Nigerian outside the three main tribes to be elected as President with almost 60 percent of the votes. The results of the elections triggered violence in the northern, Muslim parts of the country that killed at least 800 people.
Listen to the new episode to learn all about the elections and join the conversation on Thursday, the 4th of February when we take a closer look at the 2011 election and its impact on Nigeria’s political trajectory via Twitter Spaces @takingCustody by 7 pm.