Jonathan Postponed Elections To Frustrate Buhari- New York Times

New York Times, a United States-based
publication has said the postponement of the elections by the
Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, was arranged by
President Goodluck Jonathan to frustrate Gen Muhammadu Buhari of the All
Progressives Congress. Read the full publication titled ”Nigeria’s Miserable Choices” below.
The Nigerian government was supposed to hold
presidential elections this past weekend, which presented voters with
the dispiriting choice of keeping a lousy incumbent or returning to
power a former autocratic leader. Now they will have to wait at least
six weeks to cast votes.

The Nigerian election commission said
earlier this month that it had pushed back the vote until at least March
28, after the country’s security chiefs warned that they could not
guarantee the safety of voters in northeastern areas of the country
where Boko Haram, the extremist militant group, captured international
attention last spring when it abducted hundreds of schoolgirls.
On Friday, Boko Haram fighters attacked a
village in neighboring Chad for the first time, an alarming sign of the
group’s expanding strength in a region that also includes areas of
Cameroon and Niger.
Any argument to delay the vote might be more
credible if President Goodluck Jonathan’s government had not spent much
of the past year playing down the threat posed by the militants and if
there were a reasonable expectation that the country’s weak military has
the ability to improve security in a matter of weeks.
It appears more likely Mr. Jonathan grew alarmed
by the surging appeal of Muhammadu Buhari, a former military ruler who
has vowed to crack down on Boko Haram. By dragging out the race, Mr.
Jonathan stands to deplete his rival’s campaign coffers, while he
continues to use state funds and institutions to bankroll his own.
That Mr. Buhari, who helped launch a coup
against a democratically elected government in 1983 and ruled until late
1985, has emerged as potential winner is more of an indictment of Mr.
Jonathan’s dismal rule than a recognition of the former military chief’s
Nigerian voters have grown increasingly worried
about the stunning rise of Boko Haram, which has committed terrorist
atrocities including bombings. 
The abductions and attacks by the group have
exposed the weaknesses of Nigeria’s armed forces and the dysfunction of
the government. Although Mr. Jonathan’s government has in the past been
less than enthusiastic, and at times obstructive, in response to offers
of American and European aid, he appears to be growing increasingly
worried. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal last week, he said
he would welcome American troops to fight the insurgency. 
Beyond security matters, entrenched corruption
and the government’s inability to diversify its economy as the price of
oil, the country’s financial bedrock, has fallen have also caused
Nigerians to look for new leadership.

Nigeria, the most populous nation in Africa,
and a relatively young democracy, cannot afford an electoral crisis.
That would only set back the faltering effort to reassert government
control in districts where Boko Haram is sowing terror. The security
forces may not be able to safeguard many districts on Election Day. But
postponement is very likely to make the security threat worse.

About Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *