Nigeria elections: Votes for governors are the ones to watch

They have a lot of flexibility and their policies are set as much by personal passion as by party manifesto

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As you drive through Nigeria, there’s no denying there’s an election coming. The roads are lined with billboards promoting candidates for the presidential, senate or gubernatorial elections. But the glossy ads belie the disgruntlement of many Nigerians. This is one of the most unequal countries in the world. Minimum wage laws are not consistently enforced and education standards vary wildly. Free education is only available when a philanthropist donates school places, or a state governor prioritises it.

In a country where people respect education, your chances of benefiting from it depend on where you live. Governors have a lot of flexibility and their policies are set as much by personal passion as by party manifesto – many social justice policies are set locally. The focus may be on the presidential poll, but it’s the elections for governors that will determine how quickly most families leave poverty behind.

Katie Harrison works for Tearfund

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