Governor's race in Ekiti points to problems in national Nigerian poll

1 day 5 hours ago
There are widespread concerns in Nigeria about vote buying and intimidation. IIP Photo Archive

With less than 200 days to Nigeria’s next general election - scheduled for February 16, 2019 - there are apprehensions about how vote buying, violence and the deployment of security agents could affect the 2019 polls. Concerns about the fairness of the national poll have been heightened by events surrounding the election of the governor in Ekiti State in southwestern Nigeria.

The by-elections in Bauchi, Katsina and Kogi states have raised similar concerns with the opposition People’s Democratic Party alleging that the elections were neither free nor fair, and insisting that they were marred by violence, snatching of ballot boxes, and vote-buying.

These elections raised two central problems within Nigerian electoral politics - vote buying, and the deployment of the police and military to intimidate opponents and their supporters.

These two factors featured prominently in the Ekiti state poll. The election was won by the ruling party candidate Kayode Fayemi who ran against the incumbent deputy governor Olusola Kolapo Olubunmi.

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ANC expediency is messing up South Africa's land reform process

6 days 5 hours ago
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa is accused of pandering to Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini (right) and other traditional leaders. GCIS

It’s highly likely that an amendment will be made to South Africa’s constitution that will allow for land expropriation without compensation following a decision to do so by the ruling party the African National Congress (ANC).

But the government hasn’t got off to a good start in managing the process. It’s clear that narrow party political considerations are driving decisions and that the ANC’s political fortunes reign supreme. Principles and knowledge count for nothing in this game.

This is clear from the way in which the ANC is mishandling the issue by flip flopping with ease on matters of principle. Four recent developments illustrate this.

The first relates to the process of public consultation. On 14 March 2018, South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa announced in Parliament that public consultations would be held so that citizens could have their say on the issue of land reform. But no sooner were the public hearings underway, than the president announced that in fact the ANC was preparing for a vote in parliament. This suggested that the consultation process was being declared null and void.

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