Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Post-Election Analysis

2011 elections will be remembered as a watershed moment for the followings reasons:

- Even though voting might have been free and fair, the collation of election results have been contrived with irregularities. Figure analysis from some states, GEJ strongholds, basically do not make sense. While I suspect the President won, the vote was probably closer and might have tipped the race into a run off. Ambassador Campbell did a better analysis here. Truth sometimes can be uncomfortable. Professor Aluko, also agrees.  However, I have no doubts that the winner won the is the margin that is suspect. 

- For the first time, a President carried 24 states restricted to every region except the North East and North West. This indeed is the first time that these two regions have not voted for a winning Presidential ticket in Nigeria's history. Basically, we have an alliance of North-South Minorities with two other major ethnic groups ( a National Conference of Ethnic Minorities towards devolution of power from the center to the states now a real political possibility?)

- For the first time, nearly one-third of Nigeria's states will not be having governorship elections (Breaking News! Appeals Court stops elections indeed in 5 additional states!). Basically, Nigeria now have off cycle elections holding in some states. This increases the possibility of diversity of parties at this level, and encourages federalism and devolution as these parties tend to have a mind of their own (less centralization? less march step elections like zombies of Abuja? increased possibility of off year loss for the ruling party?)

- For the first time, a single party will not have control of two thirds of the Senate, and may only squeak by with a thin majority in the House of Reps. More diversity and decreased representation of the ruling party will mean more checks and balances, and a higher possibility programs that seeks devolution (e.g. rebalancing of federal allocations to favor states, and/or state police will get better and fairer hearing in the legislature. ). That is assuming of course we don't start seeing opposition defections

Now the question is, will this 4 year alliance between West & East (for the first time in Nigeria's history) and the ethnic minorities of the North & South result in fundamental restructuring of the polity? of course, that will depend on if the man in Aso Rock indeed have the balls to implement such radical program. He is not beholden to the primary unit that used to oppose this direction under a different dispensation, so he is free to act. 

But can he? Time will tell. Will Goodluck Jonathan bell the cat or will his supporters be disappointed in 4 years with a fundamentally unchanged political landscape and still no electricity and good roads? 


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