Nigerian electoral officials are in the United States to
observe the presidential election.
of them, Andy Ike Ezeani, is an official of Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral
Commission (INEC). He gives his observations leading up to the polls and talks
about what lessons Nigeria can learn from the US campaigns. “I can
notice that this is a very exciting election…. I have noticed the efforts of
the two parties and the main candidates in terms of convincing the electorates.
has been quite heated and I do enjoy it; the most interesting thing is that
people go about this business in a much more civilized way. It is quite heated
and you could feel the tension, but it has been handled in a way that there has
not been any threat of people trying to suppress the other, some people trying
to intimidate the others and I think that’s one good part of it, but this is
quit a heated election.”
says Nigeria has a lot to learn from American politics. “I do know the American
system is a much more advanced democracy than we have in Nigeria. The Nigerian
system is still evolving; the America has gone a long way. Yes, we do expect
that of course the system here is much more fluid and works better, but one of
the things that has been pleasantly surprising is that you have a situation
where the two main candidates from the two main parties have been contesting in
a very, very tight election, but in spite of that, all that they have been
doing has been a contention of ideas.
I understand the elections are
conducted on state basis and that is quite interesting because it is more of a
contention of ideas and what the parties present and that is quite