The 2015 general elections brought many surprises and solidified Nigeria’s identity as a nation due to the unity of purpose shown by citizens during that period.
Nigeria’s 2015 general elections were the most competitive and highly anticipated polls to be held in the country since its return to democratic rule.
The election brought many surprises and solidified Nigeria’s identity as a nation due to the unity of purpose shown by citizens during that period.
A large majority of Nigerians trooped out to cast their votes despite the various odds facing them.
Even Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) who had lost their homes to Boko Haram came out to perform their civic duty and vote for a leader of their choice.
Nigeria’s 2015 general elections were indeed history-making and in light of this, we bring you, in chronological order, the top 12 political moments of 2015:
Election postponement: The postponement of the 2015 elections from February 14 and 28 to March 28 and April 11 came as a shock to many Nigerians. The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) at the time, Attahiru Jega made it clear that the body was ready to conduct the polls but was forced to postpone due to security concerned. It later emerged that Jega was likely blackmailed to announce the shift.
Orubebe Drama: The dramatic display made by former Minister of the Niger Delta, Godsday Orubebe during the announcement of the results for the presidential elections on March 31, 2015, will not be forgotten by Nigerians in a hurry. Orubebe grabbed the microphone, sat petulantly on the stage and launched a barrage of allegations against Jega. The INEC Chairman however calmed the situation and continued with his duties. Later reports had it that Orubebe’s display had been part of a larger plot to abduct Jega.
Muhammadu Buhari Victory: The victory of Muhammadu Buhari in the 2015 presidential elections will be one of Nigeria’s most epic political moments for years to come. Buhari became the first person to unseat a sitting Nigerian president after three previous tries. His victory was also seen as a victory for Nigeria’s democracy.
Goodluck Jonathan Concession: Goodluck Jonathan has been hailed and praised worldwide for making a phone call to Buhari after the latter’s victory and conceding defeat. During the conversation, which took place on March 31, Jonathan is heard congratulating Buhari for his victory despite the crushing loss which had just been incurred by himself and his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) after ruling for 16 years. His action was unprecedented in a continent where leaders do not suffer electoral loss lightly.
Lagos Election: The Lagos State governorship election of April 11 was like a clash of the titans due to the PDP’s loss of the presidency. Both the PDP and the All Progressives Congress (APC) knew that the party which controlled Lagos would control at least half of the nation’s economy. The APC eventually won it by a hair’s breadth.
Buhari Inauguration: Buhari’s inauguration on May 29 saw a gathering of leaders from all over the world but most remarkable of all was the atmosphere of hope which hung in the air. Nigerians who voted in the new president were firm in the belief that change had truly come.
Babatunde Fashola Exit: On May 29, Lagosians were forced to say an emotional goodbye to their governor of eight years, Babatunde Fashola who has built up a reputation as one of the country’s foremost leaders. Fashola’s exit from office was remarkable because of the outpouring of praise and the actual wish of many that he could stay on in office.
Bukola Saraki Election: The emergence of Bukola Saraki as Senate President on June 9 is still causing ripples in the country. Saraki defied the APC’s wishes to become Senate President and rode in on the votes of mostly PDP members. The development came as a shock, with many, especially PDP chieftain, Bode George, saying that it showed a dent in the political power of APC National Leader, Bola Tinubu.
Emergence of Ike Ekweremadu as Deputy Senate President: Saraki’s perceived betrayal of the APC was further compounded by the emergence of PDP Senator, Ike Ekweremadu as his deputy. It was the first time in Nigeria’s political history that a Deputy Senate President would emerge from the opposition.
Rotimi Amaechi Screening: The ministerial screening of former Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi came with many highs and lows and caught the attention of Nigerians for weeks on end. Amaechi was eventually confirmed as a minister on October 29 after a dramatic walkout by PDP Senators.
Aisha Alhassan becomes Nigeria’s first elected female governor: On November 7, 2015, the Taraba State election petitions tribunal declared Aisha Alhassan the rightful winner of the April 11 and 25 elections after nullifying the victory of Darius Ishaku of the People's Democratic Party (PDP). Ms Alhassan thus made history by becoming Nigeria’s first elected female governor. The first ever female Nigerian governor was Dame Virginia Ngozi Etiaba who became Governor of Anambra State in 2006 after the impeachment of Peter Obi.
Audu Abubakar Death: The sudden death of the APC governorship candidate in Kogi State, Prince Abubakar Audu on November 22 created a political complication that had never before been experienced in Nigeria. Audu had contested the initial elections on November 21 but died before supplementary polls could be conducted after INEC declared the first exercise inconclusive. INEC eventually authorized the APC to choose a new candidate and it selected Yahaya Bello who has been named governor-elect after the December 5 supplementary polls. The validity of this decision is still being challenged in court by Audu’s running mate, James Faleke and PDP candidate, Idris Wada who is also the incumbent governor.
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