Nigeria Votes: More Openness, More Conflict

Issue Date October 2011
Volume 22
Issue 4
Page Numbers 60-74
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Nigeria’s recent electoral season marked an important departure from the familiar trajectory of politics in that country. Departing from Nigeria’s history of flawed elections and oligarchic control, this most recent balloting offered a broadly credible and competitive exercise across most of the country. Yet the outcome of the presidential contest, though seemingly decisive in numerical terms, has also sharpened sectional tensions that could upset Nigeria’s fragile political equilibrium. Political initiative, economic strategy, and the changing nature of social movements will determine whether or not Nigerians can successfully navigate the risk of sectional conflict.