Nigeria 2015: analysis of election issues and future prospects - Commons Library Research Paper

Published 19 January 2015 | Research papers RP15/2

Authors: Jon Lunn, Daniel Harari, Rob Page, Louisa Brooke-Holland, Ben Smith, Matthew Ward

Topic: Africa, Elections, Human rights, International development, International economic relations, International politics and government, International trade, Terrorism

This paper looks at the multiple challenges facing Nigeria as it prepares for presidential and legislative elections on 14 February 2015.

These elections will take place amidst an atmosphere of even greater crisis and uncertainty than usual. Boko Haram’s insurgency in the north of the country continues unabated. Over the last year, President Goodluck Jonathan and the ruling People’s Democratic Party have been accused of a complacent and incompetent response to the insurgency.

These developments, combined with deep divisions within the country’s elite, have resurrected old fears that the country might break up if the election aftermath is poorly handled.

However, some observers remain remarkably hopeful about Nigeria’s future, predicting that its enormous economic potential is on the verge of being realised at last.

The paper surveys the coming elections and then explores these hopes and fears about Nigeria’s future. It goes on to describe Nigeria’s relationships with the US, UK, EU, China and India before ending with a detailed country profile of Nigeria.

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