NIGERIA: Electioneering in the Bush

In the backwoods of Western Nigeria last week, Yoruba tribesmen gazed unbelievingly at the strange men who tumbled out of the sky to make speeches and hand out toy balloons. Curious Hausa merchants applauded politely, as jabbering loudspeaker trucks moved slowly through the ancient city of Kano. Independence is coming next year to Britain's big West African colony, the most heavily populated country on the continent. And next month, Nigeria (pop. 35.7 million) will choose its first national government.

A national election is a new thing, and millions have never voted before, but it did not take long for Nigerians to...

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