Nigerian people have voted for President General Muhammadu Buhari to replace Goodluck Jonathan, in an election that marks a turning point in the country’s history. This is the first time that a sitting president has been defeated in an election.
While international organisations and observers are praising the democratic process upheld in Nigeria, many also recognise Goodluck Jonathan’s gracious concession of defeat as a prevention of post-election violence.
Elections are often triggers of violence, and the world waited with bated breath as Nigerians went to the polls on Saturday. Fortunately, there was very little violence compared to what had been feared; there was tragically an attack in the North of the country that left 11 people dead.
In acknowledgement of this, President Buhari said in an address to the nation: "The eyes of the world were focused on us to see if we can vote in a peaceful way and carry out elections in an orderly manner. We have proven to the world that we are a people who have embraced democracy and a people who seek a government by, for and for the people."
President Buhari has a tough road ahead of him, with the country already facing many challenges. Of the 170 million people living in Nigeria, 60% live in extreme poverty.
Nigeria is ranked 151st of 162 countries on the Global Peace Index and is the 5th least peaceful country in Sub-Saharan. One of the biggest barriers to peace in Nigeria is the rise of terrorist group Boko Haram. Last year, Nigeria ranked 4th on the Global Terrorism Index, as Boko Haram killed at least 1,587 people and claimed responsibility for 90% of all terrorist attacks in Nigeria. 12% of all terrorist attacks are kidnappings or hostage takings.Related Articles
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Vision of Humanity is an initiative of the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP). IEP have offices in New York and Sydney. For more specific inquiries related to the peace indexes and research, please contact IEP directly.