Goodluck Jonathan elect new President of Nigeria
April 22, 2011
There must be hope after the fairest elections in Nigeria which led to the Goodluck Jonathan that it surely would work to bring regional stability and peace. The world has extended congratulations to Jonathan and Nigerian public for strengthening the democratic process which ultimately would bring prosperity and happiness for the entire country. Times are changing. Social media played an important role in this cooperation. INEC and voters exchanged messages via Short Messaging Service (SMS) texts, Twitter, and Facebook, with camera images sent from cellular telephones, all to promote a more transparent process, to verify adherence to correct procedures, and to alert authorities and the media to potential challenges.
No wonder as world has witnessed over the immense viability of democratic process. Democracy is the ultimate solution to conflicts, resolving the decades old rivalries, and making this planet a safe and peaceful heaven for the human beings. Democracy is important to all of us. No one person or any single electoral event can transform an entrenched political culture. Sadly, this past weekend, some opponents of democracy tried to derail the process by resorting to thuggery and violence. Political intimidation and violence have no place in a democratic society. Nigeria's political leaders - and those who aspire to lead - must refrain from inflammatory rhetoric or acts of intimidation. Any election violence is unacceptable, as it casts a shadow over the entire electoral process.
The 2011 Presidential, National Assembly, Gubernatorial, and State Assembly elections provide an historic opportunity for Nigeria to become a model for the rest of Africa and the world, especially for those citizens demanding democracy in their countries. All Africans deserve smooth, peaceful, transparent, and credible elections. The conduct of the first round of elections indicates that Nigeria is ready to be that example.
But here is something to be worried as reports from the Reuter that Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan appealed for unity on Monday after deadly riots erupted in largely Muslim opposition strongholds over his election victory.
Churches, homes and shops were set ablaze and the Red Cross said many people were killed, hundreds injured and thousands displaced in the outburst of anger by supporters of Jonathan's northern rival, former army ruler Muhammadu Buhari.
"We must quickly move away from partisan battlegrounds," Jonathan said in his acceptance speech after being declared the winner with 57 percent of the vote to Buhari's 31 percent.
"Nobody's political ambition is worth the blood of any Nigerian," said Jonathan, the first president from the Niger Delta region which accounts for most of Nigeria's oil wealth.
Observers have called the poll the fairest in decades in Africa's most populous nation. But Buhari's supporters accuse the ruling party of rigging and rejected the results.
The results show how polarized the country of 150 million is, with Buhari, 68, sweeping the north and Jonathan, 53, winning the largely Christian south.