Africa Notes: Nigerian Democracy on Trial - September 1983
September 30, 1983
Sometimes in Africa a nation's noteworthiness adds up to less than the sum of its parts. Nigeria's latest exercise in democracy is a case in point.
A free election in a multiparty democracy is a pretty rare event in the Third World. In Africa, the examples can be counted on less than the fingers of one hand. So, when Nigeria went to the polls in August, testing its U.S.-style constitution in the first civilian-run elections since the army handed the country back to the politicians in 1979 after 13 years of military rule, it might be assumed that the Western media and policymakers would follow the event closely.