Governance in deeply divided societies: isolated integrity, social cleavages and president Buhari’s burden of electoral promises in Nigeria / Governança em sociedades profundamente divididas: integridade isolada, clivagens sociais e o fardo do presidente Buhari de promessas eleitorais na Nigéria

Mike Omilusi

Abstract


Nigeria returned to democratic governance in 1999 and has had four cycles of national and state elections thereafter. Nigeria’s 2015 general elections marked a historic triumph for democracy in the Africa’s most populous country despite concerns over violence and the credibility of the polls leading up to the vote. The election, no doubt, ranked among the most issue-determined contests in the history of elections in Nigeria and the result challenged traditional notions suggesting that Nigeria’s problems are based primarily on divisions between north and south, or Christian and Muslim populations as entrenched in deeply divided societies. Muhammadu Buhari, often called Mai Gaskiya (“The Honest One”) by many Nigerians in the north, now not only leads the government but also carries with him an aura of “incorruptibility”. Thus, with the inauguration of the Buhari administration, the euphoria leads to a series of questions, including the following:  how realistic are these high expectations for a president facing Boko Haram, rampant corruption, shrinking government revenues, and widespread poverty? Will Nigeria’s leaders uncover a path to democratic stability and economic progress? Will the Nigerian 2015 elections, despite the initial positive outcomes, devolve into another prologue to the past? Or is the country on the verge of a significantly new political era?  Considering the fact that the core problem of Nigeria has always been the chronic deficit of honest and effective governance, how has the President’s touted integrity factored into governance in the last three years? This essay seeks to answer these questions within the personality identity/framework of President Buhari and the overall governance architecture now that it is three years into his four-year term.

 


Keywords


Integrity, Governance, Democracy, Divided Societies, Election

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References


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