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Nigeria neglect carries cost

Author: Robert I. Rotberg
April 20, 2007
Baltimore Sun


By neglecting Nigeria, the Bush administration has missed repeated opportunities to strengthen democracy in Africa’s most populous, most fractured and most important country. This failure is particularly telling as millions of Nigerians prepare to vote tomorrow for president and 469 national senatorial and national assembly seats (some opposition parties have threatened to boycott the poll; they want the vote postponed).

Last Saturday, violence and widespread cheating marred elections for 36 state governors and the members of 36 state assemblies. Observers fear an equally disorganized and ill-disciplined poll this weekend, especially after a last-minute Supreme Court decision to permit a controversial candidate to contest the presidency.

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