Slate is covering next week's very important Nigerian presidential election and this weekend's other elections. I totally disagree with the author's assessment of Nigeria as a "failed state" (come visit the Congo and see what you think), but there's no question that the country which is home to 1 in 6 people on the African continent faces massive challenges. The big question this election will answer is whether or not Nigeria's fragile democracy will continue to be a democracy. The parliament made progress last year by not allowing an alteration of the constitution that would have allowed current President Olusegun Obasanjo to run again. This is big progress.
But running an election in a country that has lived under so many dictators and experienced coups and a seccession attempt and unending fights over the country's oil and corruption that apparently puts the mess in Kinshasa to shame, well, it's messy. Very messy. Very, very messy.
Here's hoping that somehow, the will of Nigeria's 140 million citizens is actually expressed through the ballot box.