Why Buhari won even though he had little to show for first term

1 week 5 days ago
President Muhammadu Buhari (left) and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo during a campaign rally in Akure, Ondo State. EPA-EFE/Stringer

A close race was predicted between Muhammadu Buhari and his main rival Atiku Abubakar. In the end the incumbent won the Nigerian presidential election with almost four million votes.

After the results were declared, Atiku cried foul, pointing out numerous flaws and manipulations of the electoral process. He also threatened legal action although it remains to be seen if the Peoples Democratic Party candidate will file suit within 21 days of the vote as required.

Meanwhile, international leaders have already congratulated Buhari and his All Progressives’ Congress. This is to be expected. External actors have often tended to prefer stability over denunciation when it comes to incredulous election results.

Hence this still begs the question: did Buhari actually win? Several problems marked the electoral process itself. But, in my view, while the election results were prone to manipulation, the result indicates that Buhari’s party did in fact win.

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Kenya and Somalia row over offshore rights is rooted in the carve up of Africa

1 week 6 days ago
Somali president Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed (second left) and Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta (second right). EPA-EFE/Daniel Irungu

The borderlines separating Kenya and Somalia were first drawn in the late 19th century. Like everywhere else on the continent, this was the work of cartographers working for European colonial powers. Across the continent they replaced porous spaces in which people engaged openly across culture, language, religion, kinship, and ethnicity with straight-line geometrics.

East Africa was no exception. For ages, the borderlands in the Horn of Africa conformed to the adage:

Wherever the camel goes, that is Somalia.

Colonial border lines met with fierce resistance. In Kenya the line delineating the Northern Frontier District produced an immediate reaction, sparking the Shifta War soon after Kenya’s independence in 1963. The area is ethnographically dominated by Somalis.

The legacy of that unfinished business has now migrated to the Indian Ocean.

Kenya and Somalia are at loggerheads about the location of their maritime boundary. The claim that Kenya is making cuts off Somalia’s claim. And Somalia’s claim cuts off Kenya’s claim.

At stake is control over a 100,000 square kilometre triangle in the Indian Ocean proven to contain large deposits of oil, gas and tuna.

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No easy end to stand-off between al-Bashir and Sudan's protesters

2 weeks 3 days ago
Sudanese protesters shout slogans during a rally against the government of President Omar al-Bashir in Sana'a. EPA-EFE/Yahya Arhab

Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir continues to hold the country hostage. While his intelligence chief Salah Abdallah Gosh announced recently that al-Bashir would be stepping down as head of the National Congress Party, the president himself has made no such commitment.

The crisis in the country continues to deepen. Al-Bashir has declared a state of emergency , dismissed the federal government and sacked all state governors. He also subsequently appointed military and security officials to run Sudan’s 18 states, appointed a new state defence minister and reshuffled the army command.

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How Non-Implementation of Local Building Materials' Policy Is Worsening Housing Delivery

2 weeks 5 days ago

By Chinedum Uwaegbulam, Bertram Nwannekanma and Victor Gbonegun

A major paradigm shift in the use of indigenous building materials for housing design and construction may take long to come, following the inability of the Federal Government and its agencies to implement the new National Housing Policy.

Under the 2017 National Housing Policy, the government was urged to pursue vigorously the adoption of functional design standards that will facilitate cost reduction, affordability, acceptability and sustainability, which will respond to the cultural and regional peculiarities of potential users; expand and improve the manufacturing base for building materials production from all available local materials and evolve a more efficient distribution system.

According to the policy, the development of appropriate capacities to achieve sufficiency in the production of basic building materials and components of acceptable quality from local resources will stimulate effective economic growth and development; and structured manpower development programme for domestic requirement and international engagement.

READ MORE: https://guardian.ng/property/how-non-implementation-of-local-building-ma...

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How Non-Implementation of Local Building Materials' Policy Is Worsening Housing Delivery

2 weeks 5 days ago

By Chinedum Uwaegbulam, Bertram Nwannekanma and Victor Gbonegun

A major paradigm shift in the use of indigenous building materials for housing design and construction may take long to come, following the inability of the Federal Government and its agencies to implement the new National Housing Policy.

Under the 2017 National Housing Policy, the government was urged to pursue vigorously the adoption of functional design standards that will facilitate cost reduction, affordability, acceptability and sustainability, which will respond to the cultural and regional peculiarities of potential users; expand and improve the manufacturing base for building materials production from all available local materials and evolve a more efficient distribution system.

According to the policy, the development of appropriate capacities to achieve sufficiency in the production of basic building materials and components of acceptable quality from local resources will stimulate effective economic growth and development; and structured manpower development programme for domestic requirement and international engagement.

READ MORE: https://guardian.ng/property/how-non-implementation-of-local-building-ma...

AA

How Nigeria has got better at running elections that are freer and fairer

2 weeks 6 days ago
Nigerians lined up to cast their ballots in the presidential elections in Abuja. EPA-EFE/STR

The conduct of periodic, competitive, participatory, credible and non-violent elections is one of the main yardsticks used to determine the democratic condition of a state.

As such, Nigeria’s 2019 general election is pivotal to the sustenance and consolidation of the Nigerian democracy. The elections have confirmed the Nigerian electorate’s constitutional right to elect new leaders and punish nonperforming ones by denying them their votes.

Because of the postponement, the Independent National Electoral Commission was under pressure to deliver credible and non-violent elections. Its attempts to distribute materials across Nigeria’s 36 states before election day were marred by mishaps. For example, evidence from European Union observers showed that electoral materials and officers arrived late in some units in the region around Abuja.

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Why Nigeria's election was an improvement on previous polls

2 weeks 6 days ago
Voters in the presidential elections in Abuja, Nigeria. EPA-EFE/Stringer

The close-run election contest between incumbent Muhammadu Buhari and former vice-president Atiku Abubakar was largely peaceful. But it was not a perfect performance given that there were some pockets of violence that led to the death of at least 16 people. Olayinka Ajala gives his views on the poll.

How well did the country’s Independent National Electoral Commission’s manage the vote?

Although the election can’t be described as a perfect performance, it was a noticeable improvement on previous elections conducted since the country returned to democracy in 1999.

The commission understandably received a lot of stick for pushing back the election by a week. But it has acquitted itself well by resisting intimidation from the political parties to conduct a fairly credible election.

Although there were pockets of violence – in one incident in River State 16 people died – the process was peaceful in most of the states. There was delayed voting in some polling units but the commission was able to douse the tension by extending the voting hours in the affected areas.

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1 week 3 days ago
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