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Expert Insight into the 2019 Nigerian Elections


Remi Adekoya, University of Sheffield

A record 84 million voters are registered to vote in Nigeria’s February Presidential and Legislative elections, making it the largest-ever democratic exercise in African history. Most eyes will be on the presidential contest between the incumbent, Muhammadu Buhari, vying for a second term against his main challenger, Atiku Abubakar, a former vice president and business tycoon.

Four years of a Buhari presidency have seen Nigeria’s economy take a battering though it is showing signs of recovery at the moment. Meanwhile, the deadly terrorist group Boko Haram has refused to be defeated and insecurity has generally worsened across the country. Buhari's promised fight against corruption has achieved modest victories at best. The opposition has voiced fears the president’s All Progressives Congress party might engage in vote-rigging to ensure his re-election and Buhari has been accused of human rights abuses and authoritarian tendencies since getting to office in 2015, most recently after his extra-constitutional suspension of the country’s chief judge.

However, his main rival, Atiku, faces serious credibility issues on the corruption front and at 72, cannot claim to be much of a fresher face in politics than the 76 year-old Buhari. Buhari says he needs four more years to continue tackling corruption in the country while Atiku says he will do better in running Nigeria’s economy. Nigeria’s incumbent president favours a statist approach to the economy while Atiku has said he admires Margaret Thatcher and will privatize the country’s giant and corrupt state-run oil firm. The result of the February 16 election can thus be expected to have a significant impact on the direction of Nigeria’s political economy over the next four years.

For up-to-the-minute commentary on the elections and what comes next, follow Remi Adekoya on Twitter @RemiAdekoya1

The articles below are free-access via this page only up until 31 March 2019.

Corruption and Exclusion

Article TitleAuthorJournal Title VolumeIssue
‘Eating with One Spoon’: Zoning, Power Rotation and Political Corruption in NigeriaBabajide Olusoji Ololajulo
African Studies
751 (2016)
Monetisation of electoral politics and the challenge of political exclusion in NigeriaEmmanuel Ikechi Onah & Uche NwaliCommonwealth & Comparative Politics
563 (2018)

Digital Impact

Article Title AuthorJournal Title Volume Issue
The 2015 general elections in Nigeria: new media, party politics and the political economy of votingMala MustaphaReview of African Political Economy44152 (2017)
Far From Healthy? The State of Nigerian MediaRichard Bourne
The Round Table
1072 (2018)
Elixir of electoral fraud: The impact of digital technology on the 2015 general elections in NigeriaChikodiri Nwangwu, Vincent Chidi Onah, Otu Akanu
Cogent Social Sciences
41 (2018)
Taking Their Destiny in Their Hands: Social Media, Youth Participation and the 2015 Political Campaigns in NigeriaNgozi Joy Onyechi
African Journalism Studies
391 (2018)
Empowerment in their hands: use of WhatsApp by women in NigeriaNaima Hafiz Abubakar & Salihu Ibrahim Dasuki
Gender, Technology and Development
222 (2018)

Electoral Conflict and Violence

Article Title AuthorJournal Title Volume Issue
Interrogating the Interface of Partisan Public Security Forces, Cynical Electorate, and the Hazards of Electioneering in NigeriaMike Omilusi
Democracy and Security
131 (2017)
Preventive action and conflict mitigation in Nigeria’s 2015 electionsNkwachukwu Orji
244 (2017)
Challenges to Public Participation in Political Processes in NigeriaSulaimon Adigun Muse, Sagie Narsiah
Journal of Social Sciences
442-3 (2015)
Elite Political Culture—A Link to Political Violence: Evidence from NigeriaEbimboere Seiyefa
African Security
102 (2017)

Electoral Reform, Developments and Disruptors

Article TitleAuthorJournal TitleVolumeIssue
From terrorism to talakawa: explaining party turnover in Nigeria's 2015 electionsA. Carl LeVan, Matthew T. Page, Yoonbin HaReview of African Political Economy45157 (2018)
Nigeria’s 2015 General Elections: The Salience of Electoral ReformsHakeem Onapajo
The Round Table1045 (2015)
State and Democratization in NigeriaAkinbode Fasakin
Democracy and Security
113 (2015)
Can current political developments in Nigeria undermine its territorial integrity?Obinna C. D. Anejionu, Precious-Ann N. Ahiarammunnah
Femininity is not Inferiority: women-led civil society organizations and “countering violent extremism” in NigeriaChikodiri Nwangwu, Christian Ezeibe
International Feminist Journal of Politics

Identity and Representation

Article TitleAuthorJournal Title VolumeIssue
Nigeria and the ‘making’ of combative identitiesMuhammad Dan Suleiman, Benjamin Maiangwa
African Identities
153 (2017)
Ethnic crises and national security in NigeriaAzeez Olaniyan, Shola Omotola
Defense & Security Analysis
314 (2015)
Parallel institutionalism and the future of representation in NigeriaA. Carl LeVan
Journal of Contemporary African Studies
333 (2015)
Contentious elections, political exclusion, and challenges of national integration in NigeriaPeter O. Mbah, Chikodiri Nwangwu, Sam C. UgwuCogent Social Sciences

51 (2019)
The role of peace journalism in the deconstruction of elections and the “national question” in NigeriaJoseph Olusegun Adebayo
International Journal of African Renaissance Studies
121 (2017)

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