Over the past six years we have seen, very clearly, that there are many African scholars eager to participate in the debates of the social sciences.
In our inaugural and several other issues of Africana, we have emphasized the importance of including Africa-based scholarship in the global debates of the social sciences.
As our readers are aware, 2011 was a remarkable year for democratic change. Authoritarian regimes throughout the world were challenged by a surge of popular democratic will; as we write, those events continue.
We are all concerned with the ongoing developmental challenges facing the African continent, yet opinions on what can or ought to be done vary considerably. The post-colonial era has left us with a legacy of developmental failures and, as a result, many are understandably critical of the international ‚poverty industry‛ that seems to continue without end.
Over the past few months many of us have been following the news of forthcoming elections throughout Africa. We have been following the prospects for successful 2011 elections in Nigeria in particular, due to its great significance to the entire region. With this in mind we open this latest issue with several important contributions on Nigerian politics. The first, by Dr. Oarhe Osumah and Austin T. Aghemelo of Ambrose Alli University in Ekpoma, Nigeria, entitled “Elections in Nigeria Since the End of Military Rule,” emphasizes the recent challenges to the democratic process in Nigeria and the all-too-often brutal political divides (and allegedly democratic allegiances) that follow in the wake of democratic elections. Their observations on recent “democratic” experience in Nigeria are timely and struck us as well-researched and well-informed words of both “democratic” hope and caution. We were so impressed with this first piece that we included a second contribution from Dr. Osumah, entitled “Patron-Client Politics, Democracy and Governance in Nigeria, 1999-2007.” Once again, you will undoubtedly appreciate the wisdom of Dr. Osumah’s thoughtful observations; throughout, one hears his undoubted hope for Nigeria’s political future.