Nigeria: Election Issues Spark Concern Over Future
(Reuters) – As Nigeria approaches its most divisive and closely fought election since the end of military rule in 1999, its leaders are having to reassure voters that Africa’s most populous nation will remain in one piece.
The Feb. 14 vote pitting President Goodluck Jonathan, a Christian popular in his southern oil-producing Niger Delta region and in the east, against former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari, a Muslim favored in the north and religiously mixed southwest, is already proving violent, with the electorate in Africa’s biggest economy more polarized than for decades.
“Despite the much-vaunted fear that our nation may not survive the elections … I remain optimistic that we have … the maturity to rise above the challenges,” Senate President David Mark told parliament last week.
“Our nation will not disintegrate after the elections.”