The Recent Elections in Nigeria

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The Recent Elections in Nigeria

Elections in Nigeria are forms of choosing representatives to the Nigerian federal government and the various states in Nigeria.

Nigeria elects on federal level a head of state (the President of Nigeria) and a legislature (the National Assembly). The president is elected by the people. The National Assembly has two chambers. The House of Representatives has 360 members, elected for a four-year term in single-seat constituencies. The Senate has 109 members, elected for a four-year term: each of the 36 states are divided into 3 senatorial districts, each of which is represented by one senator; the Federal Capital Territory is represented by only one senator.

Nigeria has a multi-party system, with two or three strong parties and a third party that is electorally successful. However, members of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) have controlled the presidency since elections were resumed in 1999.

2007 elections
The Nigerian general elections of 2007 were held on 14 April and 21 April 2007. Governorship and state assembly elections were held on 14 April, while the presidential and national assembly elections were held a week later on 21 April. Umaru Yar’Adua won the highly controversial election for the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and was sworn in on 29 May.

The ruling PDP won 26 of the 32 states, according to INEC, including Kaduna State and Katsina State, where the results were contested by the local population.
Following the presidential election, groups monitoring the election gave it a dismal assessment. Chief European Union observer Max van den Berg reported that the handling of the polls had “fallen far short” of basic international standards, and that “the process cannot be considered to be credible.” A spokesman for the United States Department of State said it was “deeply troubled” by election polls, calling them “flawed”, and said it hoped the political parties would resolve any differences over the election through peaceful, constitutional means.

2011 elections
A parliamentary election was held in Nigeria on 9 April 2011. The election was originally scheduled to be held on 2 April, but was later postponed to 4 April.

A presidential election was held in Nigeria on 16 April 2011, postponed from 9 April 2011. The election follows controversy as to whether a Muslim or Christian should be allowed to become president given the tradition of rotating the top office between the religions and following the death of Umaru Yar’Adua, who was a Muslim, and Goodluck Jonathan, a Christian, assuming the interim presidency.

Following the election widespread violence took place in the northern parts of the country. Goodluck Jonathan was declared the winner on 19 April. The elections was reported in the international media as having run smoothly with relatively little violence or voter fraud in contrast to previous elections, in particular the widely disputed 2007 election. The United States State Department said the election was “successful” and a “substantial improvement” over 2007, although it added that vote rigging and fraud also took place.

The 2015 electioneering have already started, elections were earlier scheduled to hold on February 14th and February 28th, 2015, then a postponement was announced on February 7th, 2015, the new dates are March 28th and April 11th, 2015). We await the new dates.

Kindly get your Permanent Voter’s Card (PVC), if you have one, ensure you vote as it is your civic responsibility.

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