6th Floor, Woodrow Wilson Center

Nigeria in Focus: A Preview of the 2015 Elections

On March 28, Africa’s largest economy and most populous country will go to the polls for a closely contested election between incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan and former military ruler General Muhammadu Buhari. Nigeria’s delicate political balance faces further strain, as Nigerians remain concerned about the need for the government to promote broad-based economic growth, strengthened institutions of governance, and peace and security in the face of the continued threat of Boko Haram.

On February 7, the Independent National Electoral Commision announced it would postpone the elections by six weeks, citing security concerns in the North. Yet whether and how the delay will affect the electoral process remains hotly debated.

The Wilson Center Africa Program hosted an off-the-record panel discussion examining the up-to-the-minute issues in Nigeria’s presidential contest. The panel featured commentary from three distinguished speakers:

Samuel Okey Mbonu, Executive Director, Nigerian-American Leadership Council
Alex Thurston, Visiting Assistant Professor at the School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University
Matthew Page, Nigeria Analyst, U.S. Department of State

This event was the first in a two-part series on the 2015 elections in Nigeria. The second event, to be held after the results are announced, will include remarks from on-the-ground electoral observers, as well as analysis of the implications of the electoral result domestically, regionally, and internationally.

Photo courtesy of The Commonwealth via Flickr Commons