Nigeria decides

Nigerians Choose Discipline

Andrew Esiebo

Nigeria. 28 – 31 March 2015

Nigerians went to the polls in record numbers March 31 in a fiercely contested presidential election in Africa’s most populous country, electing a former general, Muhammadu Buhari, to replace Goodluck Jonathan.

Under Jonathan, the country has suffered a devastating insurgency in the mainly Muslim north, led by the Islamist Boko Haram. Thousands have been killed and hundreds of thousands displaced as the military fumbled its response to the group. At the same time, rampant corruption – already a Nigerian constant – has escalated and as oil prices tumbled civil servants have been left unpaid and the currency devalued.

Suspecting fraud by the incumbent, Nigerians spent all day registering and then returning to cast the majority of their votes for Buhari, a 72-year-old former military ruler renowned for his anti-corruption stance as well as a dictatorial “discipline campaign.”