REPORT OF THE POST-2015 ELECTIONS CONFERENCE ON “SECURITY AND GOVERNANCE CHALLENGES IN AFRICA’S LARGEST DEMOCRACY”

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BACKGROUND
Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa and the seventh most populous in the world. Its population as at 2006 was estimated at 167.8 million and a registered voting population of 68.9 million of which 29.4million actually voted in the 2015 General Elections, a population that is higher than the voting population of any other country in Africa. This makes her Africa’s largest democracy.
2. The 2015 General Elections in Nigeria were held against the backdrop of high insecurity, economic downturn, deep political divisions and public apprehension, particularly about the continued unity and stability of the country. Further challenges included terrorism, and insurgency in the North- East region; marked decline in the international market price of oil and the attendant decline in the national revenue and the international value of the Naira; high poverty rate; huge unemployed youth population; the proliferation of small arms and light weapons; weak national institutions and the virtual disconnect between governance and the people which had, over the years, entrenched sub-regional and national insecurity. These challenges, especially the breakdown of “social contract” between the governments and the people, as well as increasing radicalisation of distressed groups are not limited to Nigeria alone but her neighbouring countries, the Sahelo-Saharan region, the Horn of Africa and indeed, Central Africa.

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