Monday, February 25, 2019

Thoughts On Nigeria's 2019 Elections


I have felt very detached from Nigeria’s elections this year. I remain passionate about the country and committed to its development, but it has been difficult to engage on social media or canvass votes for my preferred candidate.

There are many reasons for this. I was away from Nigeria studying when most of the campaigning started last year, so it was more difficult than in previous election cycles to get involved. Importantly, I am still scarred from my disappointment with Buhari's first term. I was a big fan in 2011 and 2015, thinking he would lead the war on corruption and terrorism and provide a facilitating environment to fuel economic growth and build lasting institutions.

I was wrong, it seems. The war on corruption seems to have been prosecuted selectively; the President defended Ganduje publicly despite video evidence of bribery and remains close to Orji Uzor Kalu who has been accused with a N7.7billion fraud. Court orders have been ignored and there have been attempts to weaponize the judiciary, such as in the cases of El-Zakzaky and Sambo Dasuki who remain in detention despite multiple court orders directing their release. The economy has fared poorly under Buhari’s watch and his administration has missed many opportunities to make tough choices in the best interests of Nigeria.