In 2015, Nigeria's voters cast out the ruling People's Democratic
Party (PDP). Here, A. Carl LeVan traces the political vulnerability
of Africa's largest party in the face of elite bargains that
facilitated a democratic transition in 1999. These 'pacts' enabled
electoral competition but ultimately undermined the party's
coherence. LeVan also crucially examines the four critical barriers
to Nigeria's democratic consolidation: the terrorism of Boko Haram
in the northeast, threats of Igbo secession in the southeast,
lingering ethnic resentments and rebellions in the Niger Delta, and
farmer-pastoralist conflicts. While the PDP unsuccessfully stoked
fears about the opposition's ability to stop Boko Haram's
terrorism, the opposition built a winning electoral coalition on
economic growth, anti-corruption, and electoral integrity. Drawing
on extensive interviews with a number of politicians and generals
and civilians and voters, he argues that electoral accountability
is essential but insufficient for resolving the representational,
distributional, and cultural components of these challenges.
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