The postponement of the Nigerian elections is a huge story in Nigeria and the surrounding region – and for VOA’s Hausa Service, which broadcasts to Hausa-speaking areas of Nigeria and other countries in West Africa. VOA’s Hausa website was the go-to source for news of the postponement. Within a 24-hour period immediately after the announcement, Hausa’s mobile site recorded 1.1 million page views.
The elections, originally scheduled for February 14 and now postponed for six weeks, are the focus of attention far beyond Nigeria’s borders. On February 5, VOA hosted a lively panel discussion on the issues facing the country. The panel included Nigeria’s ambassador to the United States, Adebowale Ibidapo Adefuye, as well as Steve Schwartz, Director of the Nigeria Policy and Operations Group at the Department of State, and John Momoh, Chairman of Channels TV, a VOA affiliate. Momoh participated in the discussion via satellite link from Lagos, Nigeria. With Boko Haram terrorists in control of huge swathes of territory in the northeastern section of the country, the government's handling of the security situation has been a major issue in the election campaign and was the central theme of the panel discussion at VOA.
Research shows VOA broadcasts in Hausa and English have a combined audience of 16 million people in Nigeria. The latest figures on visitors to the VOA Hausa mobile site offer further proof of how important Hausa Service reporting is to audiences in Nigeria and elsewhere around the world.