During July and August, 48 million Nigerians have the change to elect representatives to nineteen state legislatures, pick nineteen states governors, ninety-five senators and four hundred and fifty federal representatives from over two thousand candidates.
SV AND CU: Shehu Shagary election poster and people of Okrika island holding pro-NPN posters. (4 shots)
WALKING SHOT: Shagary (wearing glasses) waving to supporters as he walks with his official through village.
SV: Traditional tribal dancers and drummers. (2 shots)
SV AND LV: villagers gathered for election address. (3 shots)
LV AND CU: Shagary leads villagers in chant for NPN (3 shots)
CU: Shagary speaking in English
CU AND SV: children watch as Shagary and party walk through village. (2 shots)
CU PULL BACK TO GV Shagary and party in boats on river
SHAGARY: "We've been to all the nineteen states, we've been to both the big towns and the villages, and we've seen for ourselves that the party of the people is the NPN."
As important as the question of those who will win Nigeria's first elections in fourteen years, there are other questions which the long elections which the long election campaign has tended to obscure. Will the new United States style constitution be broad enough to overcome the ethnic, religious, culture, economic, regional, and social divergencies of Africa's most populous country?"
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Background: During July and August, 48 million Nigerians have the change to elect representatives to nineteen state legislatures, pick nineteen states governors, ninety-five senators and four hundred and fifty federal representatives from over two thousand candidates. Most importantly they elect a President after fourteen years of military rule. Observers say that none of the five political parties contesting the elections have emerged as clear favourites. But all have extravagant claims about their popularity.
SYNOPSIS: Not until the results of the first general election for the Senate on July 7 are counted will the true state of any party's popularity be known.
One of the major contenders for a majority or Senate seats is is the National Party of Nigeria (NPN), and this is the party's Presidential candidate the former Federal Commissioner of Finance, Shehu Shagary. Shagary says he is the most acceptable Presidential candidate in the eyes of the Nigerian public. He is the youngest candidate and claims to bridge the gap between the generations. Shagary has held government posts in Nigeria since 1958.
For outside observers its difficult to find major differences in the philosophies of the five political parties. All parties have been wooing voters with basically similar promises; free medical care, free education, better housing, jobs for everyone and greater self-sufficiency.
All five parties are optimistic of victory at the polls. Most political commentators are more cautious. They say its likely that no party will win a clear majority in the legislatures and no candidate will win the Presidency on the first ballot.
But leading the villagers in the NPN chant, Shehu Shagary says all political observers are wrong. He shares his party's -- and his opponents' -- optimism.