AS vote-counting continues in presidential elections in republics of Benin and Chad amidst several controversies, the results of the ballots have substantial economic and security implications on their close neighbour, Nigeria, a report has found.
The report, published by SB Morgan, an organisation focusing on geopolitical research and strategic communications consulting around Africa, titled ‘Shrinking Spaces: What elections in Benin and Chad could mean for the region,’ states that the elections in Benin and Chad hold potential implications for Nigeria.
According to the report, for Chad, the results of its presidential election will have an influence on the fight against insurgency in Chad, while for Benin, it is trade with Nigeria.
Idriss Déby is the President of the Chad Republic in the Sahel region and he has been in power since his military days in 1990.
Like Nigeria, Chad is also battling insurgency unleashed by the Boko Haram terrorist group. There have also been concerted efforts to fight the terrorists, but not much has been achieved as the sect continues to invade the porous boundaries of both nations.
The SB Morgan report states that Deby, who is seeking re-election to extend his long reign, is likely to secure his seat but is “less able to protect the population of his country against non-state actors due to decades of neglect and inadequate governance structures.”
Nigeria military has had several encounters with terrorists along the Lake Chad Basin, leading to casualties on both sides.
The report notes that if Deby retains his seat, the Multinational Joint Task Force between Chad and Nigeria against Boko Haram will remain sporadic and irregular.
Patrice Talon is the incumbent president of the Benin Republic, a country sitting close to South-Western Nigeria.
It is largely known for its trade relations with Nigeria. As the ballot counting in the Benin Republic continues, the SB Morgan report says any political unrest may have critical implications for Nigeria.
While some opposition parties in the country have boycotted the election owing to post and pre-election violence, SB Morgan report says the actions of the incumbent president are a sure way to generating unrest in the country, thereby hampering trade between the countries.
The report further reads that Benin relies largely on trade, and any disruption of that trade due to internal unrest can plunge the country into crisis.
“Prolonged post-election instability would mean a creeping refugee crisis into Nigeria through the latter’s South-West zone, which would be an irony when one considers the fact that the pastoral conflict between nomadic herders and farmers in the 12 Southwest of Nigeria has led to the influx of refugees into the Benin Republic, via the Seme Border, Nigeria’s most important economic border region,” the report reads.
Recently, due to the farmer-herder crisis in some parts of border communities between the countries, some Nigerians in Ogun State have sought shelter in the Benin Republic.
The results of the presidential elections in the Benin Republic and Chad have not been published as of the time of filing this report.