Nigeria. According to
Countryaah official website, the state elections in January and the
parliamentary and presidential elections in February
completed the return to democracy. The People's Democratic
Party (PDP) largely dominated. The PDP won in 20 out of 35
states and gained its own majority in both chambers of
parliament. In the presidential election, the PDP's Olusegun
Obasanjo triumphed over Olu Falae, who represented the
opposition. Foreign observers complained of cheating in the
presidential election, but their and Falee's complaints were
Obasanjo, who was military president from 1976-79, took
over a Nigeria in deep crisis. Oil revenues had almost halved in
two years, and GDP was estimated to decline by at least
1.6%. The foreign exchange reserve fell from $ 6.7 billion
to $ 4 billion in the first quarter, and the budget deficit
of $ 668 million for the same period was almost twice as
projected for the entire year. The economic race was
believed to be mainly due to the outgoing military junta's
looting of the Treasury.
Obasanjo's main promise was to fight corruption. He
canceled all business contracts entered into since June 1
and replaced the management of the state oil company NNPC.
The rules for trade in crude oil were tightened to remove
the middlemen who won contracts by having high-ranking
officers or politicians as "sponsors". This abuse is
believed to have cost NNPC up to $ 1.5 billion a year.
Obasanjo also fired high-ranking officers who held
political missions and appointed a human rights commission
to investigate abuses since N's first military coup in 1966.
At the government's request, Swiss bank accounts
belonging to the estate were blocked by former dictator Sani
Abacha and his co-workers. The accounts were believed to
contain more than two billion dollars stolen from the
Abacha's son Mohammed and other representatives of the
former regime were brought to justice for the 1996
assassination of Kudirat Abiola, wife of the then
incarcerated opposition leader Moshood Abiola.
The ethnic conflicts that plagued Nigeria during the
dictatorship continued after the regime change. In the poor
Niger Delta, the center of oil recovery, young people from
the ijaw people demanded a larger share of the oil income.
The riots culminated in the murders of twelve policemen in
November. The military was deployed and between 65 and 200
people were killed. Over 20,000 civilians fled to the
forest. Old contradictions between the dominant groups Hausa
and Yoruba gained momentum when Hausa considered that the
Christian Yoruba from the southwest benefited after the
change of power. At least 70 people were killed in fighting
in Kano in northern Nigeria in July. In November, clashes in
Lagos demanded about 90 casualties.