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March 31, 2015 7:39 PM   Subscribe

Incumbent President of Nigeria Goodluck Jonathan today conceded defeat in last weekend's election, and called President-Elect Muhammadu Buhari to congratulate him. The election has generally appeared to be the fairest in Nigeria's history and mostly free of the bloodshed of Jonathan's 2011 defeat of Buhari; this transition will mark Nigeria's first transfer of power to an opposition party after an election. Buhari's presidency will be his second administration as leader of Nigeria after acting as the head of a military junta from 1983 to 1985.

During his previous administration, Buhari implemented an austere Campaign Against Indiscipline, and once conspired with Mossad to have a former government official accused of embezzling billions kidnapped in London, anesthetized, and attempted to be be shipped back to Nigeria in a crate that was meant to have been marked as a diplomatic pouch. Today he leads the All Progressives Congress party, a coalition of what had been Nigeria's largest opposition parties, after coming in second place as a presidential candidate in elections in 2003, 2007 and 2011 at the head of various predecessor parties.

Jonathan's defeat has been attributed to frustration with his inability to stop the atrocities of Boko Haram in the northeast and the failure of most Nigerians to benefit from recent economic growth; Al Jazeera America reports on the role that social media and citizen journalism have played in the election.
posted by strangely stunted trees (28 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Bossa nova, similis bossa seneca.
posted by 1adam12 at 7:58 PM on March 31, 2015 [5 favorites]

They probably need a change, but, er, yeah.
posted by Artw at 7:59 PM on March 31, 2015

Do I hear The Who tuning up backstage?
posted by oneswellfoop at 8:09 PM on March 31, 2015 [1 favorite]

"So," said Arthur, hoping he wasn't sounding ridiculously obtuse, "why don't people get rid of the lizards?"
"It honestly doesn't occur to them," said Ford. "They've all got the vote, so they all pretty much assume that the government they've voted in more or less approximates to the government they want."
"You mean they actually vote for the lizards?"
"Oh yes," said Ford with a shrug, "of course."
"But," said Arthur, going for the big one again, "why?"
"Because if they didn't vote for a lizard," said Ford, "the wrong lizard might get in."
posted by ZaphodB at 8:10 PM on March 31, 2015 [15 favorites]

Do I hear The Who tuning up backstage?

yeah, 1adam12 made that observation already, but in latin
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 8:33 PM on March 31, 2015 [1 favorite]

My Yoruba co-worker turned up to work in full national costume today, fwiw.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 8:38 PM on March 31, 2015 [6 favorites]

For some reason YouTube showed me an election ad from the Jonathan campaign a couple of weeks ago, even though I live in America (screenshot).
posted by danb at 8:46 PM on March 31, 2015 [1 favorite]

I don't know, it's easy to be cynical but this seems like an achievement that should be celebrated for at least a day or two. Incremental change and everything. There are many reasons to be optimistic about Subsaharan Africa.
posted by Nevin at 8:56 PM on March 31, 2015 [11 favorites]

I heard something one time I thought was rather profound: the real purpose of elections is to convince the losers to accept their loss. Without that willingness to accept defeat, democracy is impossible.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 9:06 PM on March 31, 2015 [20 favorites]

danb: I've been getting Goodluck Jonathan ads on Youtube too.
posted by Navelgazer at 9:16 PM on March 31, 2015

Commentary from co-worker on the Nib cartoon linked above -- he says the idea that people are better off in the south is illusory, because while the ruling class enjoys the oil money, ordinary people's quality of life is still poor, and the environmental degradation from oil production is considerable.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 9:28 PM on March 31, 2015

1adam12 made that observation already, but in latin
I am now officially ashamed that I took Latin as my elective language in high school instead of the much-more-useful-for-living-in-California Spanish. (。•́︿•̀ 。)
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:03 PM on March 31, 2015

Kidnapping corrupt, thieving billionaires sounds like an excellent plan.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:37 AM on April 1, 2015 [1 favorite]

Good news. With the decline in the oil price, demonstrated competence in quickly eliminating the recent ebola outbreak, and now this, perhaps we're seeing some positive future power of Africa? Many a slip, of course...
posted by alasdair at 2:08 AM on April 1, 2015

One mind-boggling fact from me from the Nib cartoon:
"One in every five people in Africa live in Nigeria."
posted by brokkr at 2:44 AM on April 1, 2015 [2 favorites]

Well, at least old Goodluck has a healthy retirement fund .
Last year Sanusi reported that $50 billion in oil revenue from the corruption-riddled state-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corp. had not been paid to the government. The Senate Committee on Finance last week ordered an independent audit into the missing money, which it said now amounted to about $20 billion. The Finance Ministry said missing receipts recovered in an audit accounted for the rest of the missing money.
posted by xqwzts at 2:47 AM on April 1, 2015

Following along with #NigeriaDecides on twitter this weekend was as exhilarating as the World Cup and as funny as a Comedy Central marathon. Nigerians use of memes and snark, especially during the extended wait for the results announcement through Sunday and Monday was appreciated across Africa online. As far as I could tell, it was a pan African election watch and all applauded the phone call that Jonathan made to Buhari.
posted by infini at 3:28 AM on April 1, 2015

Sounds like Jonathan's luck...finally ran out.

( •_•)>⌐■-■
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 3:56 AM on April 1, 2015 [7 favorites]

Nigerian election fashion reflects the culture of aso ebi
posted by infini at 3:58 AM on April 1, 2015 [2 favorites]

...Sanusi reported that $50 billion in oil revenue from the corruption-riddled state-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corp. had not been paid to the government...

Crap, that email was genuine!
posted by Segundus at 4:13 AM on April 1, 2015 [7 favorites]

Well I do think Fairest Election So Far is worth celebrating, even if the new President seems not much better than the last. Change doesn't happen overnight, and I bet a lot of people worked really hard to make this election actually reflect the will ofthe people.
posted by harriet vane at 4:38 AM on April 1, 2015 [1 favorite]

How Goodluck Jonathan lost the Nigerian election, explained ...

Don’t cross the boss: Playing fair; Boko Haram and the Chibok kidnaps; Bad management; Corruption and cronyism.


posted by Mister Bijou at 4:56 AM on April 1, 2015

posted by allthinky at 5:11 AM on April 1, 2015

To this outsider in the US, the lack of any sort of response to Boko Haram was just ... mystifying. As if the central government was just busy coking it up somewhere and couldn't be bothered. Hopefully this will at least be an improvement. If nothing else, having an actual election go off properly and having a peaceful transfer of power is a huge step. Good job Nigeria!
posted by freecellwizard at 6:18 AM on April 1, 2015 [2 favorites]

I think a lot of advertising is pointed outwards because there is such a huge population of Nigerian ex-pats who, as far as I know, can vote absentee.
posted by ChuraChura at 8:00 AM on April 1, 2015

I know next to nothing about Nigerian politics and thus don't have much to say, except that I am encouraged any time a country has a peaceful change of power following an election, especially if that country has a past history of non-peaceful leadership changes.

Except it complicates things substantially that President-Elect Buhari, who has just been returned to office, served for the first time as the result of a 1983 military coup.. So I'm a little unsure what to think about this one but relieved that so far the transition looks as though it will be accepted peacefully.

And yes, to echo a previous poster: President Johnathan's seeming paralysis when faced with Boko Haram is hard to understand from a vantage point outside of the region. If anyone can share more information about whether it was due to unwillingness to deal with the situation versus inability to deal with it, I would be interested to hear the reason(s).
posted by Nerd of the North at 6:22 PM on April 1, 2015

Unravelling the mystery of Boko Haram.
Pt 1 and Pt II by Eric Draitser
posted by adamvasco at 6:54 PM on April 13, 2015

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