The violence seen in the lead-up to the gubernatorial election could be just the beginning of trouble in the Niger Delta, says guest blogger Alex Thurston.
• A version of this post ran on the author's blog, www.sahelblog.wordpress.com. The views expressed are the author's own.
Few were surprised to see that Nigeria’s ruling party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), won Saturday’s gubernatorial election in Bayelsa State. The PDP controls not only the presidency but also a super-majority of the nation’s governorships, and it has dominated Bayelsa politics since Nigeria’s Fourth Republic began in 1999. The victor in Bayelsa, Henry Seriake Dickson, had the strong support of President Goodluck Jonathan.
As mentioned in a post last week, Bayelsa, which lies in the Niger Delta, has faced not only political tension but also renewed violence. Some of this violence is electoral, some targets the oil industry, and all of it is in some sense or another political. The election is now over, but that does not settle questions about where the politics of the region are headed.
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