In-Depth

Nigeria Votes (2003)

Only two general elections in Nigeria have been organised by civilian governments since independence from Britain in 1960. In each case, the elections were marred by irregularities and violence. In each case, they were followed by military overthrows.

The presidential, legislative and state polls from 12 April to 3 May represent the third attempt by a civilian government to organise successful elections in Nigeria. Whatever the outcome of the the polls, Africa's most populous nation will still have to grapple with key issues that affect the well-being of its 120 million people. Communal and religious conflicts, and violence sparked by competition for resources figure high among these issues. This web special looks at the elections, the main players, the issue of conflict in general and in particular the Niger Delta question, one of the thorniest issues Nigeria's authorities and people are likely to face in the next four years. 

Only two general elections in Nigeria have been organised by civilian governments since independence from Britain in 1960. In each case, the elections were marred by irregularities and violence. In each case, they were followed by military overthrows.

The presidential, legislative and state polls from 12 April to 3 May represent the third attempt by a civilian government to organise successful elections in Nigeria. Whatever the outcome of the the polls, Africa's most populous nation will still have to grapple with key issues that affect the well-being of its 120 million people. Communal and religious conflicts, and violence sparked by competition for resources figure high among these issues. This web special looks at the elections, the main players, the issue of conflict in general and in particular the Niger Delta question, one of the thorniest issues Nigeria's authorities and people are likely to face in the next four years. 

  • Feature

    The Election Process

    8 April 2003
    General elections in Nigeria between 12 April and 3 May are the first since a 1999 ballot that ended more than 15 years of military...
  • Analysis

    Nigeria's Conflicts

    31 March 2003
    Nigeria's 120 million people belong to more than 250 distinct ethno-linguistic groups, and are evenly split between Muslims and Christians, while there are also significant...
  • Feature

    Nigeria Votes: Who's Who

    31 March 2003
    The following are brief snapshots of some of the leading candidates in the 19 April presidential elections in Nigeria. OLUSEGUN OBASANJO: Nigeria's current president and...