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Jonathan Postponed Elections To Frustrate Buhari – New York Times


The United States-based New York Times says the
postponement of the elections by the Independent
National Electoral Commission was orchestrated by
President Goodluck Jonathan to frustrate Maj. Gen
Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) of the All Progressives
The newspaper in its post published yesterday and titled
”Nigeria’s Miserable Choices”, further stated that
Jonathan appeared to be afraid of the increasing
popularity of Buhari, who most Nigerians would likely
vote for. Read the article below and share your
thoughts ;
The Nigerian government was supposed to hold
presidential elections this past weekend, which
presented voters with the dispiriting choice of keeping a
lousy incumbent or returning to power a former
autocratic leader. Now they will have to wait at least six
weeks to cast votes.
The Nigerian election commission said earlier this
month that it had pushed back the vote until at least
March 28, after the country’s security chiefs warned
that they could not guarantee the safety of voters in
northeastern areas of the country where Boko Haram,
the extremist militant group, captured international
attention last spring when it abducted hundreds of
On Friday, Boko Haram fighters attacked a village in
neighboring Chad for the first time, an alarming sign of
the group’s expanding strength in a region that also
includes areas of Cameroon and Niger.
Any argument to delay the vote might be more credible
if President Goodluck Jonathan’s government had not
spent much of the past year playing down the threat
posed by the militants and if there were a reasonable
expectation that the country’s weak military has the
ability to improve security in a matter of weeks.
It appears more likely Mr. Jonathan grew alarmed by the
surging appeal of Muhammadu Buhari, a former military
ruler who has vowed to crack down on Boko Haram. By
dragging out the race, Mr. Jonathan stands to deplete his
rival’s campaign coffers, while he continues to use state
funds and institutions to bankroll his own.

That Mr. Buhari, who helped launch a coup against a
democratically elected government in 1983 and ruled
until late 1985, has emerged as potential winner is more
of an indictment of Mr. Jonathan’s dismal rule than a
recognition of the former military chief’s appeal.
Nigerian voters have grown increasingly worried about
the stunning rise of Boko Haram, which has committed
terrorist atrocities including bombings.
The abductions and attacks by the group have exposed
the weaknesses of Nigeria’s armed forces and the
dysfunction of the government. Although Mr.
Jonathan’s government has in the past been less than
enthusiastic, and at times obstructive, in response to
offers of American and European aid, he appears to be
growing increasingly worried. In an interview with The
Wall Street Journal last week, he said he would welcome
American troops to fight the insurgency.
Beyond security matters, entrenched corruption and the
government’s inability to diversify its economy as the
price of oil, the country’s financial bedrock, has fallen
have also caused Nigerians to look for new leadership.
Nigeria, the most populous nation in Africa, and a
relatively young democracy, cannot afford an electoral
crisis. That would only set back the faltering effort to
reassert government control in districts where Boko
Haram is sowing terror. The security forces may not be
able to safeguard many districts on Election Day. But
postponement is very likely to make the security threat

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