Nigeria’s southeastern state of Anambra will hold gubernatorial elections today amidst a deteriorating national security environment.
Publicity surrounding today’s election is dominated by mounting insecurity posed by the conflict between the government and multi-ethnic pro-Biafra groups, including the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), who seek political self-determination. In the last six months, hostility between the IPOB and government security forces has increased, defined by claims of governmental human rights violations, violence at political campaign rallies, and killings by both sides. The most influential political parties, including the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), People’s Democratic Party (PDP), and All Progressives Congress (APC), have condemned the violence by both sides.
In the face of insecurity and protest abstention, expect low voter turnout. While the race is tight, the ruling APGA party will likely lose today’s election because of its role in contributing to the continuing violence. Andy Uba of the APC party will likely win, given his condemnation of the government’s role in the violence, attempts at appeasing the IPOB, and insistence on holding today’s election. Cases of election misconduct, which is historically rampant in Nigeria, may feature in the outcome. Therefore, in the medium-term, the next governor will likely enjoy a weakened mandate.
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Alan is an analyst with the Current Developments team, focusing on security and politics, particularly within the former Soviet Union, the Middle East and Africa. He contributes regularly to the Daily Brief.