Nigerians took to the polls on Saturday (Feb. 25) to decide who will lead the country for the next four years. This election is one of the most important ones taking place this year and it comes at a crucial time for Africa’s most populous country. Nigeria is the continent’s largest democracy, but, it has seen better days.
After being elected on the promise of reducing poverty, tackling corruption and insecurity, and creating a stable economy, outgoing president Muhammadu Buhari leaves the country worse than it was eight years ago. More than half of Nigerians are living in multidimensional poverty, experiencing security crises ranging from insurgency to farmers-herders clashes to kidnappings, and corruption has thrived unchecked.
In the lead up to the election, the president—in the company of Godwin Emefiele, the country’s erratic central bank governor—ordered a currency redesign to curb vote-buying, which plagues the country’s elections. The result? Excruciating unease for the citizens as they cannot access money kept in banks to meet their daily needs. The pushback has been fierce, with protests erupting nationwide, some turning violent.
Out of a total 18 presidential candidates, the three frontrunners are Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Atiku Abubakar, and Peter Obi. Whoever wins this presidential election will have a herculean task ahead of them and the power to affect, for better or worse, the lives of millions over the next few years. Source: Quartz