Oil traders will have one less thing to worry about if Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan is confirmed on Monday as the clear winner of Saturday’s election.
While there will be claims of fraud, and there is often the risk of violence in a Nigerian election, the betting is that Jonathan can consolidate his victory and the country can now avoid prolonged political uncertainty.
As Bloomberg reported , the Independent National Electoral Commission said that with results for all 36 states released, Jonathan scored 22.5 million votes and won in 21 states, compared with 12.2 million for his closest rival, former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari, who won 12 states. Jonathan also met the constitutional hurdle of winning a quarter of the votes in two-thirds of the states for an outright victory.
After Friday’s deadly car-bombings in Nigeria’s capital, there can be no doubt that militants from the Niger delta retain a serious – even improved – capability to strike well beyond the uneasy oil region despite last year’s amnesty.
Even as the families of the seven dead begin to grieve, the government and oil groups will be worrying that the unprecedented strike in Abuja might herald a return to widespread assaults on the infrastructure of sub-Saharan Africa’s biggest oil and gas industry.
Tensions in the delta are certainly rising. Tit-for-tat attacks on rival political camps have hit Bayelsa, the home state of Goodluck Jonathan, the president and frontrunner for elections due by April.