Senegal:An Enchanting Democracy In Turbulent West Africa
- Out of Senegal’s Total Population of 16.5 Million People;6.6 Million Senegalese have been Registered to Vote in the 15000 Polling Stations across the 45 electoral Constituencies in this Country.
- The February 2019 Presidential Election was won by Incumbent President Macky Sall with 58% securing his Second and Last 5-Years Term in Office.
Nigeria’s Intriguing Political Journey Right From Its Independence TO DATE:
October 1,1960 Nigeria gained its Independence from Britain; Nnamdi Azikwe gets appointed as Governor General alongside Tafawa Balewa as the Prime Minister.
- October 1,1963 Nigeria became a Republic with Nnamdi Azikwe as its first President with Tafawa Balewa as its first Prime Minister.
- While in his Third Year in Office; January 1966 President Azikwe travels to West Indies on a Medical Trip and while away a Bloody Coup is staged by the Military to depose him leading to the Killing of his Prime Minister Tafawa, Senior Army Officers, Prime Ministers of the West and North of N
Nigeria on the African Map
igeria among other Senior Government Officials. Major General/Commander Johnson Aguiyi alongside a battery of Igbo(Southerners)Power Elite suppressed the Coup and Seized Power to become a Millitary Head of State. This marks the start of Nigeria’s 3 Decades of Millitary Rule, Supremacy and Showdown.
- Northern Nigerians who suffered the brute of this Coup saw this as a Conspiracy by the Igbo Power Elite to annex and subjugate them creating vile Ethnic Animosity. July the same year 1966 the Northern Soldiers staged another deadly Coup against their Southern Colleagues and Killed Aguiyi who was now the Military Head of State. In this Violent takeover, the Northerners killed close to 30,000 Igbos forcing them to flee to the South. On May 1967 the Igbos declared their Independence in a Secession bid to have a Nation of their own which they named Biafra State. This announcement became the start of a Ghastly, Bloody Civil War (Biafran War) that lasted for Two and a half years until January 1970. Gun battle is believed to have caused over 100,000 Deaths with Drought, Hunger, Starvation and Diseases claiming over a Million Lives of the Igbo Community. Upon a thoroughly suppressed Igbo Warriors and a decimated Population; the Igbos surrendered on January 1970 and the Military Ruler General Yakubu Gowon who took over after Aguiyi’s assassination accepted them back to the Nigerian State ending the deadly Civil War.
- General Gowon ruled until July 1975 when he was overthrown in a bloodless Coup that happened while he was away in Kampala Uganda for the 12th OAU Summit. General Muhammed Murtala took over as the New Military Head of State. Barely 7 Months into Office General Murtala was on February 1976 assassinated in a failed Coup attempt. His Chief of Staff who had been promoted to a Lieutenant General one Olesegun Obasanjo was immediately appointed by the Supreme Military Council took over as the New Military Ruler. Obasanjo ruled for Four Years until August 1979 when the First Ever Presidential Elections were held where a Civilian one Shehu Shagari won the Election. Obasanjo stepped down both as the Military Head of State and Army Officer and handed over to the Newly Elected Civilian Head of State Shagari on October 1979. The Supreme Military Council was dissolved to give birth to a New Nigeria.
- 3 Years into Office, Shagari’s democratically elected Government was on December 1983 deposed by the Military, a new Supreme Military Council was formed and Major General Muhammadu Buhari (Current President of Nigeria) took over as the New Military Ruler. Buhari ruled for around Two Years until August 1985 when a New Military Council (Armed Forces Ruling Council) formed by General Ibrahim Babangida overthrew him and Gen. Babangida took over. The new Military Ruler promised to restore Democracy; he ruled for 8 Years. In a Visit to Egypt on August 1993 Gen. Babangida stepped down and appointed a Civilian who was a Lawyer one Ernest Shonekan as an Interim President. Shonekan’s Transitional Government was in its Fourth Month deposed by General Sani Abacha on November 1993 who appointed himself as the head of Ruling Military Coucil and Head of State. Gen. Abacha ruled for 5 Years until June 1998 when he mysteriously died in his Presidential Villa. His Defence Staff Chief Major General Abdulsalami Abubakar was immediately sworn in the same Month. Gen. Abdulsalami promised to hold a Democratic Election within a Year in order to hand over Power. He established an Electoral Commission (INEC) that conducted Presidential Elections on February 1999. Former Military Head of State Olesegun Obasanjo won the Election and true to his Word Major Abdulsalami handed over Power to Obasanjo on May 1999. A modified version of the 1979 Constitution adopted during Abdulsalami’s Reign came now came into force with President Olesegun Obasanjo marking the birth of yet another New Nigeria.
- In another Presidential Election on April 2003 Obasanjo’s Ruling Party PDP won a Second Term against his main Opponent and former Military Head of State Muhammadu Buhari(Now the Current President). Amid claims and accusations of intending to hang on Power with a Third Term, President Obasanjo bowed to pressure and stepped down after the Controversial April 2007 Presidential Elections won by one Umaru Yar’Adua. His main opponents again Muhammadu Buhari and Obasanjo’s former Vice President Atiku Abubakar contested the results in Court but their Petititions were dismissed.
- President Yar’Adua suddenly left Nigeria for Saudi Arabia on November 2009 on a Medical Trip reportedly ailing with Pericarditis. After Three Months of his absence Concerns were raised with Pressure from Various Stakeholders in Politics on his inability to discharge his duties as President. Nigeria’s Senate bowed to Pressure and calls to declare Yar’Adua’s Vice President Goodluck Jonathan as an acting President. On February 2010 President Yar’Adua secretly returned to Nigeria with his state of Health still unclear with claims it had deteriorated. 4 Months later on May 2010 President Yar’Adua was announced Dead. His Vice President Goodluck was immeadiately Sworn in as President. 10 Months into office a Presidential Election was held on April 2011 and Jonathan confirmed his Position as President after beating his Close Rival Muhammadu Buhari.
- President Goodluck ruled until March 2015 when another Presidential Election was held. He lost to General Buhari, Conceded defeat and handed over Power on May 2015. This was Buhari’s 4th Trial to become President through the ballot after his unsuccessful bids in 2003,2007 and 2011.He made history as the first ever Opposition Candidate to beat a sitting President.
- General Buhari who at one time served as Nigeria’s Millitary Head of State between December 1983-August 1985 is the Current Democratically Elected President of Nigeria now running for his Second Term in Office in Nigeria’s 2019 Presidential Election Set to happen This Saturday February 23,2019 after they were abruptly called off last Saturday 5 Hours to the start by the Electoral Commission INEC citing Logistical shortfalls.73 Candidates have been registered to run for President although the real Race is said to be between Current President Buhari who is also the Oldest Candidate at 76 against Former Vice President and Business Tycoon one Atiku Abubakar at 72 both with a wealth of Political Experince from Nigeria’s Charged Political Battles in the Past. Atiku has unsuccessfully been in this race for 3 Times in 2007,2011 and 2015. The race has also attracted Youthful Contenders like Mr. Chike Ukaegbu who is only 35, Madam Eunice Atuejide who is 40, Mr. Fela Durotoye and Mr. Omoyele Sowore who are both 47.A whopping 52% of the 84 Million registered Voters are Youths (35 Years and Below). 6 Female Candidates are also in the race this being the highest number of Female Presidential Candidates in Nigeria’s History. There are 84.3 Million Registered Voters set to cast their Votes in 120,000 Polling Stations across the 36 States of Nigeria.
- The February 2019 Presidential Election which recorded a very Poor Turnout and Voter Apathy with over 53 Million out of the over 84 Million Registered Voters failing to Vote was Won by Incumbent President Buhari (APC Party) with 15 Million Votes winning in 19/36 States against his closest Rival Atiku Abubakar (PDP Party) who garnered 11 Million Votes winning in 17/36 States.President Buhari is Now in his Second and Last 4-Years Term in Office.
- Nigeria is the Biggest Economy in Africa, the Biggest Oil Producer in Africa and 13th in the World, the Most Populous Country in Africa and 7th in the World with a Population of over 200 Million People across its 250+ Ethnic Groups. Over half of its Population is below the Age of 20 Years with its Media Age being 19 Years.
- Nigeria’s Capital City Lagos is the Largest City in Africa with a Population of over 22 Million People. Nigeria’s Official Language is English with Local Languages Hausa, Yoruba and Igbo having the Most Speakers due to their Massive Population. Islam Religion has the majority of the Population closely followed by Christianity Religion. Nigerian Naira is the Country’s Currency.
Photos Credit;Ballot Naija & 123RF.