Nigerian Democratic Success and its Regional Implication

By Kassim Sheimo | April 1, 2015

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APC Party: Nigerian Pres. Jonathan (R) has conceded

Much anticipated and very contested democratic process in Nigeria has resulted its fruition by bringing General Muhammadu Buhari, the former military officer as the winner of the Nigerian election. Mr. Jonathan conceded his defeat and congratulated the newly elected president Buhari. This is the first time in history of Nigeria that the sitting president defeated by election. Mr. Jonathan was in power since February 2010 when the ailing president of Nigeria, Umaru Yar’Aduaw as serious ill and unable to govern this most populous nation in Africa. Mr. Jonathan, who is from Southern oil rich Niger Delta of Christian family from Ijaw ethnic group and relatively poor family ascended to the power by claiming victory in election held in 2011despite opposition claim of wide spread frauds. The man who always wears a penchant for fedora hat, has middle name “Ebele” means God-willing, regular Church goer, and is also called “Super Pastors” has amassed $100 million wealth of assets during his political career as the president of Nigeria and became most influential and wealthy person even though he refuses to disclose his assets officially. Onmany occasions, he claims and speaks of his given name “Ebele” that means God willing that made him successful person. However, Nigeria has seen so much trouble during his five years presidency. Hewas unable to move to rein in Nigerian’s multi-billion dollar culture of corruption that plagued the country by which few elite rule and enjoy the wealth of this strategic West African country. Boko Haram insurgency became wide spread problem in the North of country causing havoc by killing thousands and displacing millions from their home during Jonathan rule. The piracy, kidnaping, and oil theft were among major problems that affected the Nigerian economy and the lives of ordinary people during the time Jonathan personally became the wealthy person. The good and unexpected thing though is that he called to congratulate the elected president defying his critics that he would not give up power. He broke the culture and tradition of many African leaders who once ascended to power considered themselves the leaders forever. Mr. Jonathan should be praised for accepting the result of election and the will of his people. In Nigerians election history, always the incumbent party or the president wins the elections. This Nigerian election has not only changed the president’s face but also the party in power. All Progressives Congress (APC) party belong to the elected president Buhari also replaces Mr. Jonathan’s powerful People’s Democratic ruling Party (PDP) that was in power for decade. As many election process, even here in American, there were some set back during this transition to democracy. Negative attacks, election frauds, isolated civil arrests, and some allegation that Mr. Jonathan tactic to sway things his way by delaying the election-day for six week, probably until the victory against Bokko-Haram was evident to skew the military success to his advantage. These all didn’t derail the hope for fair and free election in Nigeria. Nigerians did it; we all need to congratulate them of such magnitude of success.

Nigeria, as the most populace nation in Africa with immense economic potentials and the home for multi-ethnics, languages, and religious groups have spoken in clear term that yes-peaceful democratic transition is possible in diverse society in Africa. Mr. Buhari’s northern Hausa Muslim background didn’t prevent the Southern Christian to vote for him, the same way Jonathan had enjoyed popularity from the north in the past election in 2011. The messages of Mr. Buhar’s ant-corruption and his stand against institutionalized inequality have resonated across mainly the poor and educated middle class Nigerians of every sector of the society beyond ethnicities and religious divisions. Whether he will be able to deliver those ant-corruption and ant-insurgency of Bokko-Haram are to be seen. Such peaceful transition to democratic success should be celebrated across not only in Nigeria but also across the continent Africa that is hungry for democratic change, rule of law, and respect for human right. I believe such democratic transition can be replicated elsewhere including Ethiopia.

As we know, the fake election is conducted every 4 years in Ethiopia. For the last 25 years, only the TPLF dominated EPRDF party wins the election in the country that polarized by ethnic tensions, politics, potential religious uprising. Many citizens, opposition party members, especially Oromo are thrown into jails, some are killed, and tortured every cycle of elections in Ethiopia including the candidates and supporters of Oromo Federalist Congress that is legally registered with Board of Election and operated in the country. The ordeal of Bekele Gerba, Olbana Lelisa, Suufa, and 10th of thousands Oromo imprisonment is the testimony to this facts. Further and further the country is descending into chaos and violence due to unruly laws, lack of democracy, and lack of respect for human rights. The TPLF cosmetic appearance is showing deterioration day in and day out putting the country in the verge of collapse that may lead to widespread and long lasting regional conflict and instability in the Horn of Africa. TPLF doesn’t have urban nor rural supporters among such country with complex array of ethnic combination, except probably its own base of Tigre region of the north. Such hated suppressive regime is becoming more and more hostile to the people of the South and South East of the country including Oromo, Oganden, Gambella, Sidama, and many other nation and nationalities. The TPLF Junta is responsible for instigating, fanning, and stirring conflict, and wars between nations and nationalities of that fragile country so as to prolong itself in power. It continues to displace people from their ancestral land and practices wide spread illegal land grabs. Many Western and Chinese backers should not ignore this potential deterioration and failed state in the Horn of Africa because I don’t think it serve their interest to see another failed state next Somalia and Yemen that peril the economic and social progress in that region and beyond. I am very sure that TPLF watched very carefully what has taken place in Nigeria and I am hopping it takes a note of it and learn something out of this emerging African democracy in progress and adjust itself before it’s too late. Enough with rampant violence, despotic rule, suppression, and high-institutionalized corruptions of fanatic scale that ruins the life of ordinary people in Ethiopia.

Thank you
Kassim Sheimo

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One Response to Nigerian Democratic Success and its Regional Implication

  1. Mario April 2, 2015 at 5:35 pm #

    Nigerian election result and the behavior of the two candidates is a new phenomenon and totally unheard of in Africa. A step forward in Nigerian politics and Nigerians deserve no less than this.

    This news must have sent a chill down the spine of all dictators in power. Are our dictators going to behave themselves in a civilized manner and respect the will of the people as the two Nigerian politicians or are they going to hang onto power until they expire while in office? Time will tell.

    I wonder what the “bench of good for nothing” in the African Union (AU) will say about this great Nigerian election. Will they like it? I doubt it very much!!!

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