It is a tradition. Every four years on the first Tuesday in November, the Consul General of the United States Consulate, Lagos, organizes an all-night event for students, journalists, civil society, religious groups, politicians and US alumni to witness a live coverage of the country’s presidential elections. Tuesday November 6, 2012, was not an exception, as about 300 Nigerians gathered at the Apa Suite, Eko Hotel and Suite to watch millions of Americans endorse President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden to remain in the White House for the next fears.
The official ceremony began at 8pm with the presentation of Jeffrey Hawkins, consul general, US Consulate, Lagos, welcoming the audience to the 2012 event. This was followed by a short speech by Rolf Olson, a political economist, which explained the Electoral College system, the unique way Americans elect presidents. The event also featured a documentary of past presidential elections, as well as inspiring remarks by Nigerian politicians like Olusegun Mimiko, governor of Ondo State and Bisi Fayemi, first lady, Ekiti State among others.
As usual, the audience participated in a mock voting during the night, to give them an idea about the way Americans vote. Hawkins noted in his presentation that it was an opportunity for Nigerian politicians to see and learn about transitions and traditions of Democracy. His words: “Democracy to Americans has been a habit because this is our 57th presidential election and it happens naturally. Our citizens don’t bother whether the election would be rigged or doctored in any form because it is already a tradition. We urge developing nations to emulate us in this development.”