NIGERIA (GA) – Nigeria is one of the African nations that produce some of the best minds in the world – from specialized and record-breaking doctors, economists, lawyers, engineers and scientists, inventors, innovators to authors, athletes, and musicians. Nigeria dominates across Africa and has taken a place in the world. It is also Africa’s most populous nation and perhaps the wealthiest country. Still, it is also one of the countries in Africa where nothing seems to be working correctly.
The weakness of Nigeria as a nation lies in its political leadership. For example, there is chatter in various Nigerian communities at home and abroad about who is running the nation’s affairs as current President Muhammadu Buhari’s endurance and competence to lead remain in serious doubt. Especially given the unwarranted inaction in tackling insecurity and malfeasance from tribal herders.
Nigeria appears to be one of the countries in Africa that frequently elect presidents, senators, governors, and other leaders who lack the pedigree that Nigerian intellectuals and technocrats are globally known for. In addition, the uninterrupted involvement of the Nigerian military over time has helped to create the type of political leadership style and structure the country continues to experience despite its transition to multi-party democracy almost two decades ago.
Nigeria and Power Outages
Despite the vast amount of natural wealth, human creativity, and potential, poverty in Nigeria is so entrenched that it is quantitatively unmeasurable. Massive Unemployment, corruption, insecurity, and crime are indescribable. Despite being an oil-producing nation, Nigeria also has one of the worst power outages and electrification challenges.
The health care system is substandard for a country that produces most of Africa’s wealthy people and over a million medical tourists to foreign destinations, with India being the most common destination for Nigerian medical tourists.
According to the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), Nigerians spend an average of $1 billion United States dollars annually on medical tourism for a range of healthcare needs. 60% of this amount is reported to be across four key specialty areas: oncology, orthopedics, nephrology, and cardiology, areas in which Nigeria also produces some of the best in the world.
According to the World Bank, “Inequality, in terms of income and opportunities, remains high and has adversely affected poverty reduction. The lack of job opportunities is at the core of the high poverty levels, regional Inequality, and social and political unrest. High inflation has also taken a toll on household’s welfare, and high prices in 2020 are likely to have pushed an additional 7 million Nigerians into poverty in 2020.”
The World Bank maintained, “While Nigeria has made some progress in socio-economic terms in recent years, its human capital development ranked 150 of 157 countries in the World Bank’s 2020 Human Capital Index. Moreover, the country continues to face massive developmental challenges, including the need to reduce the dependency on oil and diversify the economy, address insufficient infrastructure, build strong and effective institutions, as well as address governance issues and public financial management systems.”
Beyond all these, voters in Nigeria have always been suspicious of presidential, gubernatorial, and parliamentary elections in their country for one simple reason: the belief that election in Nigeria is generally considered not credible.
Across the country, voters in this Africa’s most populous nation are aware that their presidential elections are not won solely by votes or widespread consensus. Instead, they believe that numerous other variables influence political election results in Nigeria. These variables include the ruling party and the incumbent’s control of state security apparatuses, grassroots structures, and control institutions such as market traders’ associations and the National Union for Road Transport Workers.
Nigerian observers fault foreign interference like those from the European Union and the US that frequently exert influence on the country’s electoral process. Some analysts believe when these external powers are not actively engaged in getting into the habit of ramping up the rhetoric on the significance of free and fair elections, they play into the hands of the opposition, who have traditionally appealed to foreign powers to adjudicate the country’s electoral process.
Former Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan called out “foreign interference” as he claimed in his recently published memoir that the US had a hand in ensuring that he lost the 2015 presidential election. Recently, the ruling All Progressives Congress buttressed what former President Jonathan and others have been saying when they issued a statement telling the EU not to undermine Nigeria’s sovereignty.