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Can Nigeria, the so-called “giant of Africa”, live up to its claim of being the biggest democracy in the black world? Not if its latest state governorship election is anything to go by, argue some in Africa’s most populous nation.
The re-run of elections for the post of governor in southwest Ekiti state were seen as a test of whether Nigeria’s electoral system has improved since flawed federal and state polls in 2007.
But for the opposition, it turned out to be as much of a charade as all the other re-runs in states where the 2007 results were nullified, all of them won by President Umaru Yar’Adua’s People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and all mired in controversy.
The official results showed the PDP candidate in Ekiti winning by a narrow 4,000-vote margin. The Action Congress opposition party has vowed to challenge the results in court. The re-run had to be postponed in two of more than 60 wards because of violence as frustrated voters protested against the alleged falsification of results.