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Despite Dominant Narrative of Violence During Nigerian Elections, Locals Say Otherwise

nigerian electionsNigerians went to the polls in droves yesterday to vote for a president. Many were nervous in the days leading up to the election: The last time there was a presidential vote 800 people died. But by many accounts, the fear didn’t last long.

“That fear that was there, it disappeared,” Emmanuel Olisaeloka Osemeka, the national coordinator of the Social Welfare Network Initiative, told BuzzFeed News.

Osemeka personally visited 30 polling stations yesterday, and members of his network visited two dozen more.

“The enthusiasm, the level of participation, and the excitement — for me, it was good,” he said.

Millions of voters turned out, waiting patiently under the sun for hours to have their identities verified. Then they waited several more hours to vote.

But many Nigerians (and some non-Nigerians) felt the idea that there might be large-scale violence seemed to dominate some coverage of the election.

Francis Kumadoh @kumadorian stated on Twitter:

“Hmmm, it seems some foreign media houses are just waiting for violence to erupt in Nigeria. #Pray4Nigeria #NigeriaDecides”

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