Nigeria’s Presidential Election – Muslim wins on “Change” platform

 In Foreign

Goodluck Jonathan was Nigeria’s president for the last 4 years. But the March 28 Presidential Election gave the prize to former military dictator and Muslim, Muhammadu Buhari.

Jonathan conceded defeat Tuesday morning and congratulated Buhari on the win. But all is not necessarily happy in Nigerian camelot, where even though he was duly elected, this man has been in power before and was ousted by his own army.


“Muhammadu Buhari at Chatham House” by Chatham House



Fox News wrote,

“Streets in Abuja, the capital where the presidential villa is located, were deserted as people waited tensely for an announcement, fearful of violence.

By contrast in the north, where Buhari is almost revered, spontaneous celebrations sprang up in Kano, the nation’s second city, and Kaduna. Young men on motor scooters performed wheelies as hundreds of youths chanted: “Change! Change! Change!” and cars honked their horns in support. In Kano state, Buhari delivered a crushing defeat to Jonathan, winning 1.9 million votes for Jonathan’s 215,800.”

Does any of that sound familiar to you? The youth involvement, the “change”…hmmm. Buhari carried Lagos state, the most  populous in the country – with less that 1/3 of the voters participating. That, too sounds familiar.


When Buhari was in power before, between Dec 1983-August 1985,  he “ruled with an iron fist.” Though he may have not used the country’s wealth for his own personal items, he supposedly jailed people for something as simple as littering. He jailed political dissenters, and gave the NSO- National Security Organization- unprecedented powers.

He was well known for passing “Decree Number 4” – a repressive anti-free press edict that stated anyone who published things not pleasing to the head of the government would be punished by two years in jail and a fine of not less than 10,000 Nigerian Naira. ($50.)

Buhari is a Muslim. Jonathan was  a Christian. This campaign was run as an “anyone except Jonathan” platform. Again, that sounds vaguely familiar.

 Nigerian remake

Nigeria is about half Christian in the south and half Muslim in the north. The northeastern state of Borno is the birthplace of the terrorist group Boko Haram, and has 1.4 million voters. If they can get to the polling place of course.

Up until 1999, Nigeria had experienced bloody coups to reset the government on a continual basis. Buhari has successfully remade himself into whatever the people desired. In 2001, he stated he wanted Sharia law implemented throughout the country. Now he says he wants religious freedom for all Nigerians.

Let’s see whether the people of Nigeria have made a serious mistake in trading someone who wasn’t very popular for someone who may be deadly.

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