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November 21, 2019

Nigeria
Abacha, Abiola, and Nigeria’s 1999 Transition to Civilian Rule

The 1999 transition of Nigeria from military to civilian, democratic government, is a defining moment in Nigerian history, representing the beginning of the longest, uninterrupted government since independence in 1960. But what exactly transpired during the period of transition, which began in earnest with the death of military dictator Sani Abacha in1998, is not entirely clear. Max Siollun, in a fascinating study of the period, Nigeria’s Soldiers of Fortune, has done us a service by illuminating some of the behind-the-scenes machinations of that period, and putting to bed some of the rumors that passed for history.

A supporter of Chief Mashood Abiola holds up a newpaper during a demonstration outside the family home July 10 to protest about the suspicious nature of his death.

October 4, 2019

Nigeria
The Legacy of Nigeria's 1999 Transition to Democracy

Commentators, especially outside Nigeria, saw the elections of 2015 as an important milestone for the country’s democratic development breaking the pattern of rigged elections. However, could it be that it was the elections of 2011 that really broke the pattern, and the elections of 2015 merely restored it? Were in fact the elections of 2015 much better than those before and after? Did the political classes determine that Jonathan had to go, in part because of the deteriorating economy and security situation, but also understanding that the 1998–9 bargain struck between the south and the north be restored? Will the bargain survive in 2023? 

Obasanjo walks past a cheering crowd in a white robe.

August 21, 2019

Nigeria
Debt Servicing, Tax Revenue, and Oil in Nigeria

President Buhari is publicly asking the Federal Inland Revenue Service about its failure to meet tax-collecting targets since 2015. Nigerian Federal and state entities have borrowed so much money that debt service now consumes more than 70 percent of revenue, according to the Finance Ministry. 

Tunde Fowler sits and gestures in front of a FIRS logo during an interview.

July 17, 2019

Nigeria
Obasanjo Writes Letter to Buhari on Nigerian Insecurity

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo wrote an open letter to President Muhammadu Buhari on the deteriorating security situation in Nigeria. His focus in the letter is on Boko Haram and the “herdsmen/farmers crises."

Former President Obasanjo speaks into a microphone while seated on stage at the Africa CEO forum.

July 16, 2019

Nigeria
The Post-Presidential Legacy of Nigeria’s Goodluck Jonathan

Former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan’s international reputation has improved since conceding the presidency in 2015. What does that say about democracy in the country?

Former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan speaks to the media as part of the National Democratic Institute's election monitoring delegation in Liberia on December 26, 2017.

April 30, 2019

Nigeria
Dangote’s Oil Refinery Central to Nigeria Meeting Its Production Goals

On April 25, the managing director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Maikanti Baru, said that Aliko Dangote's new Lagos oil refinery is central to the government meeting its ambi…

Nigeria-Dangote-Oil-Refinery-Construction

April 29, 2019

Sub-Saharan Africa
Africa’s ‘Leaders for Life’

Sub-Saharan Africa is home to many of the world’s longest-ruling heads of state, but civil society and regional blocs may be slowing the trend of extending presidential terms in some areas.

A taxi passes an electoral poster for Cameroonian President Paul Biya in a market in Yaounde.

January 25, 2019

Nigeria
Grim Outlook for Violence Around Elections in Nigeria

Presidential elections take place in Nigeria on February 16 (unless they are delayed). While there are dozens of candidates, only two stand a chance of winning the election. They are Muhammadu Buhari, incumbent president and candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Atiku Abubakar, former vice-president and candidate of the People’s Democratic Party.

Nigeria-Election-Buhari-Violence

January 3, 2019

Nigeria
Shehu Shagari, President of Nigeria’s Second Republic, Passes Away

Former President Shehu Shagari passed away on December 28, 2018, in Abuja at the age of 93. He was the only president of Nigeria’s Second republic, which lasted from 1979 to 1983, when his government was overthrown in a military coup by then-General Muhammadu Buhari, who is now Nigeria’s democratically elected president of the country’s Fourth Republic.

Nigeria-Shehu-Shagari-President-Dead

October 9, 2018

Nigeria
The Stage Is Set for Nigeria's February 2019 Presidential Election

Nigeria’s presidential election is scheduled for February 16, 2019. The two largest parties, the incumbent All Progressives Congress (APC) and the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) completed their primaries last weekend. The APC unanimously selected President Muhammadu Buhari as its presidential candidate. The PDP primary included a number of candidates, but the party chose former Vice President Atiku Abubakar.

Nigeria-Buhari-Atiku-Abubakar-Elections-PDP-APC