World News

How will the result of the forthcoming elections influence the life of Christians in Nigeria?


The presidential election is heating up in Nigeria, and there is a lot at stake. The polls will open on Saturday, February 25. As the largest oil producer in Africa and one of the most economically influential, the new leader will have a significant impact beyond Nigeria.

Nigeria’s current President Muhammadu Buhari is finishing his last of two terms and will be stepping down in May. Although there are 18 candidates running for president, the frontrunners are considered Bola Tinubu of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and Atiku Abubakar with the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

One of the major discussions surrounding the election is northern Nigeria’s growing insecurity and radical Muslim violence. Minority Christians in the north are often the target.

Greg Kelley with World Mission says, “The frustrating part of it, I think, when you look at it internally is that the government within Nigeria is not holding anyone accountable, so the atrocities continue. The people continue to suffer.”

The two presidential candidate frontrunners are Muslim, and they both vow to defend religious freedom in Nigeria. Will anything improve for Nigeria’s Christians with new leadership? Time will tell.

For World Mission though, hope does not rest in political postures but in getting the Gospel to northern Nigeria.

Most ministries focus their efforts in southern Nigeria where it’s safer, and where there is also already a Christian majority. Kelley says, “There are major churches, what we would consider mega-churches in the southern part of Nigeria with zero mission emphasis on taking the Gospel into the northern part.”

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