News / Africa

Nigeria's Elections Get Mixed Reviews

Oronto Douglas hailed Nigeria's presidential election, but others at a Washington conference were more reserved
Oronto Douglas hailed Nigeria's presidential election, but others at a Washington conference were more reserved
TEXT SIZE - +
Nico Colombant

Nigeria's ongoing election cycle has gotten mixed reviews from a panel of experts and Nigerian officials in Washington.  Concerns were raised about widespread violence and the fairness of the vote counting.

While most experts and officials at the Atlantic Council Washington conference Tuesday said the elections so far were credible, Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai, a former Nigerian government minister, and a supporter of losing presidential candidate Muhammadu Buhari, urged caution.

Official results from the April 16th presidential ballot announced Monday gave incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan a new mandate with 57 percent of the vote.

But El-Rufai alleged there had been tampering of ballots before they reached the Abuja-based Independent National Election Commission, known as INEC.

"I know that many people in Washington and in Brussels would want to celebrate Nigeria's election and say it is a great success," said Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai. "I am sorry I disagree. I think it is a major improvement but unless and until we find a way to get results of elections at polling unit level going directly to the chairman of INEC, without any human intervention, without any ability to change the numbers, we are not going to have credible elections in Nigeria."

One of the dozens of Nigerians in attendance, Juliana Oyegun, a World Bank official, urged El-Rufai to immediately go back to Nigeria and help end the violence and rioting which has taken place in more than a dozen states.

"You cannot speak of a democracy without a presumption that violence is off the table," said Juliana Oyegun. "This is a prerequisite as far as I am concerned. Democracy is not just about voting. It is also about citizenship and mutuality. In the absence of that, how do you build a nation?"

An adviser to President Jonathan, Oronto Douglas, asked for proof of widespread tampering.  

"Yes there were flaws, but these were not enough to sour the sweet soup of our democracy, not enough at all," said Oronto Douglas. "It is important that in our examining of this election we should look at the positives.  The positives include (that) Nigerians have come together under [Mr.] Jonathan to build a new Nigeria."

Former U.S. Assistant of State for African Affairs Jendayi Frazer urged all grievances to be processed through Nigerian courts, even if these were slow, and not trusted by all political actors.

"The courts overturned many of the ruling party victories from the last elections so I think that the people of Nigeria can have some faith in the judicial system and the fact that it takes a long time for cases to come forward, for evidence to be presented and to be judged on is a problem of all judicial systems of the world," said  Jendayi Frazer.

Panelists said the final sequence of balloting on April 26 to determine Nigeria's next governors as well as dozens of remaining parliamentary seats which were not yet contested are now under the threat of opposition boycotts as well as more violence.  

You May Like

Algerians Vote in Presidential Election

There were few media reports of protests and clashes around the country, but so far no significant violence More

Sharks More Evolved than Previously Thought

The discovery could “profoundly affect our understanding of evolutionary history” More

Pakistan Military Asked to Protect Polio Workers

Request comes as authorities say a Taliban ban on vaccinations in 2012 and deadly attacks on anti-polio teams have prevented thousands of children from getting inoculated More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid