NIGERIA: Black African Vote for Democracy

After coups and chaos, trying out a U.S.-style system

It already has black Africa's largest population (about 80 million) and most bounteous economy (1978 gross national product: $33 billion), as well as the clout that comes with being a rapidly emerging leader of the Third World. To those assets, oil-rich Nigeria may soon add another that is very rare in its part of the world: a democratic government.

In a key step in a methodical transition from 13 years of military rule, what Nigerian officials describe as an "impressive" number of the country's...

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