As Nigerians await the declaration of the winner of what would eventually be their closest election since 1999, Ghanaians also appear to have taken a keen interest in the elections. From the interview of Nigerian politicians on Ghanaian media houses to the publishing of provisional results from some states, it appears no other foreign election has captured the attention of Ghanaians this much since Obama’s re-election battle in 2012.
Part of this can be explained by the fact that Ghana, like the rest of the world, is interested in finding out how Nigeria deals with such a competitive election amidst concerns of insecurity. Also, with Ghana’s on-going power crisis, the flow of gas from Nigeria is crucial. But these factors are insufficient to explain the tacit support for Jonathan or Buhari among some Ghanaians. One facebook friend has gone as far as changing his profile picture to a picture of Buhari and posting pro-APC messages.
Perhaps the best explanation for this more than usual interest is because some Ghanaians believe the outcome of the Nigerian election could be an indication of how Ghanaians will vote come December 2016. The fact that both Goodluck Jonathan and John Mahama were both vice presidents who ascended to the presidency after the death of Yar’Adua and Prof Mills respectively adds to the drama. Both went on to win their election bid and Goodluck is facing the electorate once again, one and a half years before Mahama.
In October 2014, I downplayed any effect of Dilma Roussef’s re-election on how December 2016 will go in Ghana. The Brazilian political terrain, like Nigeria’s, is too dissimilar from Ghana to make any kind of meaningful comparison. However, as Nigerians await INEC’s collation at noon, they can be sure that they will not be the only people watching.
Collation of results will begin at 12pm tomorrow. #Nigeriadecides
— INEC Alert (@INECAlert) March 29, 2015