Nigeria’s Election Opens Old Fault Lines In The ‘Middle Belt’

Written by Kevin Mwanza

In a week’s time, as the rest of the world will be celebrating Valentine’s day, Nigerian will be going to the polls to vote in their next president.

But tension is rising in what analysts have termed as on the most closely contested Presidential election in the country’s history, pitting the current president Goodluck Jonathan, a Christian from the south, and Muhammadu Buhari, a Muslim from the north and a former military ruler.

Electorates in the Africa largest oil producers are fearful that violence could break out again if the election becomes contested. There have already been attacks on both sides of the divide during the election campaigns, Voice of America reported.

There have been violence in previous elections along the “middle belt” where the two religious groups meet. This conflict has further been fuelled by high poverty levels and stoking by divisive politics by the country’s elites.