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Nigeria

https://www.idea.int/democracytracker/

December 2023

At least 85 civilians killed by Nigerian military drone strike

At least 85 (and perhaps as many as 127) civilians were killed in the village of Tudun Biri, in Kaduna state, on 3 December when an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) operated by the Nigerian army mistakenly attacked the village. The Nigerian army was engaged in operations against terrorists in the area, and operators mistook a village gathering to celebrate the Muslim holiday Mawlid for the movements of a terrorist group. This was the worst incident of its kind since 2017. President Bola Tinubu ordered the incident to be investigated, and the Committee on Defence in the House of Representatives has promised to monitor the investigation. Protestors gathered outside the National Assembly on 6 December, demanding accountability.

Sources: The Guardian (1), The Guardian (2), The Guardian (3), Sahara Reporters, Financial Times

March 2023

State elections broadly peaceful, but challenges remain

Following the national elections held in February, Nigerians voted for the members of Houses of Assembly for the 36 states, and for governors of 28 states on 18 March. Following a number of complaints about the conduct of the national elections made by political parties, the state elections had been delayed by one week as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) sought to find solutions. Observers noted that the state elections experienced fewer logistical challenges than the national elections, and the technologies used for voter identification and results tabulation functioned well. Still there were reports of violence and vote buying, particularly in the states of Lagos, Lagos, Rivers, Enugu and Kano. Observers reported that 21 people were killed in election-related violence. Continuing the trend from the national election, turnout was reportedly low and few women were candidates.

Sources: Yiaga Africa, European Union Election Observation Mission, France24, Premium Times, Africa Report

February 2023

Elections for President and National Assembly held

On 25 February, Nigerians voted in one of the most consequential elections in Africa in 2023. The lead-up to the election was dominated by economic challenges and protests against shortages of fuel and the newly redesigned currency. Turnout was markedly low, down from the already low mark of 35 per cent in 2019, with only 27 per cent of registered voters participating in the election. International observers faulted the Independent National Election Commission (INEC) for logistical failures, irregularities, and a lack of transparency. The ruling party (All People’s Congress) candidate Bola Ahmed Tinubu was declared the winner of the presidential election. In the National Assembly, the APC lost ground to opposition parties, but retained its majority in the Senate and likely also in the House of Representatives. The election failed to advance women’s representation, with only 18 women elected to the 469-member National Assembly thus far (some seats remain to be determined). Opposition parties have announced that they will challenge the outcome of the presidential election in the courts. Those proceedings are likely to last at least six months.

Sources: The Guardian (Nigeria), Wall Street Journal, Africanews, The Cable, Premium Times, The Africa Report, International IDEA, European Union, The Commonwealth, International Republican Institute and National Democratic Institute

December 2022

Allegations of abuses by military in fight against insurgents

In two stories published in December, Reuters reported on allegations of severe abuses by the Nigerian military in its years-long fight against insurgent groups. One report alleged that the Nigerian military had been operating a programme that performed abortions (often without consent) on women who had fallen pregnant after being taken as hostages by Islamist insurgent groups. Reuters found that more than 10,000 such abortions had been performed since 2013. In a second report, Reuters alleged that children were intentionally targeted during military operations against Islamist insurgent groups. The report suggested that thousands of children have been murdered over the past 13 years and was able to find at least two witnesses to six incidents in which a total of 60 children were killed. The Nigerian military and government responded to each of these reports with a complete denial, calling the reporting an insult and evil. Nevertheless, the Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor, asked the National Human Rights Commission to investigate the allegations made in these reports.

Sources: Reuters (1), Reuters (2), Sahara Reporters

See all event reports for this country

GSoD Indices Data 2013-2022

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Basic Information

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Population Tooltip
213 401 323
System of government
Presidential system
Head of government
President Ahmed Bola Tinubu (since 2023)
Head of government party
All Progressives Congress
Electoral system for lower or single chamber
First Past the Post
Women in lower or single chamber
3.9%
Women in upper chamber
2.8%
Last legislative election
2023
Effective number of political parties Tooltip
2.76
Head of state
President Ahmed Bola Tinubu
Selection process for head of state
Direct election (two-round majority, with minimum regional distribution of the vote needed to win in first round)
Latest Universal Periodic Review (UPR) date
06/11/2018
Latest Universal Periodic Review (UPR) percentage of recommendations supported
82.76%
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Human Rights Treaties

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State Party State party
Signatory Signatory
No Action No action
United Nations Human Right Treaties
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
State Party
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
State Party
International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination
State Party
Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women
State Party
Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment
State Party
Convention on the Rights of the Child
State Party
International Convention on Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families
State Party
International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance 
State Party
International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
State Party
International Labour Organisation Treaties
Forced Labour Convention
State Party
Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise Convention
State Party
Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining Convention
State Party
Equal Remuneration Convention
State Party
Abolition of Forced Labour Convention
State Party
Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention
State Party
Convention concerning Minimum Age for Admission to Employment
State Party
Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention
State Party
Regional Treaties
African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights
State Party
in
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Performance by category over the last 6 months

Representation neutral Representation
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Representation neutral Rights
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Representation neutral Rule of law
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Representation neutral Participation
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Global State of Democracy Indices

Hover over the trend lines to see the exact data points across the years

Explore the indices
Representation
Representation
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/1
high 0.7-1.0
mid 0.4-0.7
low 0.0-0.4
Rights
Rights
0
/1
high 0.7-1.0
mid 0.4-0.7
low 0.0-0.4
Rule of Law
Rule of Law
0
/1
high 0.7-1.0
mid 0.4-0.7
low 0.0-0.4
Participation
Participation
0
/1
high 0.7-1.0
mid 0.4-0.7
low 0.0-0.4

Factors of Democratic Performance Over Time

Use the slider below to see how democratic performance has changed over time

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