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As Nigerians prepare to choose between two “lesser evils,” polls are delayed and AU observers gear up to monitor Africa’s most popular country’s general election

ABUJA, Nigeria–––Nigerians are amongst brilliant and talented people in Africa and the world.  They are doctors, engineers, scientists, lawyers, business tycoons, professors, writers and more.  But when it comes to national governance, Nigeria like most African nations fall victim to bad management and poor leadership. Sustained Corruption and insecurity continue to plague Africa’s most powerful country.

Since its independence, Nigeria has had more military rulers, strong and corrupt leaders and inept governments under which the enormous natural resources of the have the country are misused.

Voters struggle to choose between two key old politicians

Today Saturday, Nigerians were expected to exercise their democratic rights in choosing the man or woman who should lead their nation.  Factually, there are two leading and recognizable candidates in the race: incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar. 

Most Nigerians despises both men for apparent reasons.  But the lack of options in a what is mostly considered a two-party state of the All People’s Congress (APC) of President Muhammadu Buhari and Progress Democratic Party (PDP) of Presidential Candidate Atiku Abubakar leaves Nigerian voters with choosing the lesser of the two evils.

Less than 72 hours to the polls, the country’s electoral announced that it had postponed the presidential and general elections by one more week for several reasons amongst which include helping the electoral body prepare adequately. This postponement is causing fears in some corners, especially amongst opposition groups who fear election rigging.

The African Union (AU) on Friday said its Electoral Observation Mission (AU-EOM) comprises 50 members in Nigeria was prepared for the upcoming general elections.

According to the AU, the observer mission, led by former Ethiopian prime minister Hailemariam Desalegn, held its final round of meetings on Friday with stakeholders in the Nigerian general elections, which was scheduled to take place the next day, Saturday.

“Since the mission’s deployment, Desalegn has been receiving updates from various stakeholders including political parties, the electoral commission, civil society, government officials and other observer groups,” an AU statement reads.

The 50-member AU delegation includes AU Commissioner for Political Affairs Minata Samate Cessouma and other high-profile personalities from across the continent.

Former Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn

The Nigerian government and the country’s electoral commission invited the AU Observer mission, and the team presence is a part of the AU’s mandate and commitment to supporting credible, transparent and inclusive electoral processes across the continent, the AU added in a statement.

Last month, the Nigeria Independent National Electoral Commission said that more than 84 million Nigerians had been registered to vote in the general elections, representing about 42 percent of the country’s population.

A total of 73 presidential candidates are vying to take Nigeria’s top job.

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Dave Okonjie

Dave Okonjie is a public affairs analyst, researcher and senior issues correspondent.
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