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Mandela described as the Rainbow Society, several memorials were built to heal the societies and communities of the country. It took the strength and leadership of President F. W. de Klerk of the National Party and Nelson Mandela of the African 222  National Congress to negotiate a peaceful transfer of government in South Africa and the end of apartheid. Both were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their contributions. In this respect Habermas opens up another space of discourse that we should not overlook: The monuments built after the end of apartheid in 1994 provide social spaces, in what Habermas describes as “the public sphere” – places where citizens can come together to discuss issues that affect their lives through the legal and legislative processes. These democratically inspired spaces are still evolving in South Africa and around the continent, and we can cite a few examples: Louis Ferreira da Silva Architects + Johnston Architects’ Northern Cape Provincial Legislature Building, Kimberley, completed in 2003; Noero Wolff Architects’ Red Location Museum of Struggle, Port Elizabeth, completed in 2006; The Constitutional Court and the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg; and the Freedom Park in Pretoria, also in South Africa. The gesture that led to the peaceful transfer of power and the end of apartheid in 1994 recalls what happened recently between President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria and the former dictator, now President-elect of Nigeria, General Muhammadu Buhari. On the first of April 2015, General Muhammadu Buhari, the former Military Head of State in Nigeria, who ruled the country with dictatorial powers from December 1983 to August 1985, was elected President of the country in his fourth presidential bid. The incumbent President, Goodluck Jonathan, and the President-Elect, Buhari, were in a fiercely competitive race for months amidst the attacks of the violent sect Boko Haram in the northeastern states of the country, and around the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. The outbreak of all-out violent strife along ethnic, geographical, political and religious lines was a possibility; no opposition party has ever defeated an incumbent in the country’s political history. Worse, power transitions in the country from 1960 on, when Nigeria became independent, had mostly taken the form of coups d’état. In addition, the violence that broke out after the 2011 election, in which Buhari lost to Jonathan, was still on everyone’s mind. The citizens of the country and stakeholders around the world heaved sighs of relief when Jonathan graciously accepted defeat and phoned the leader of the opposition to congratulate him on his victory. Both leaders set a welcome precedent for political transition in the country. Besides, when Buhari had seized power in a coup d’état at the end of 1983, he had unilaterally cancelled the continuation of construction in Abuja, the city where he will now preside as the leader of the country. It is plausible to suggest that Jonathan and Buhari are imparting to the citizens of Nigeria the nebulous concepts of democratic culture that countries like the United Kingdom, the United States of America, France and many European countries began to learn from the late eighteenth century on. This latest political development suggests that Abuja is a ‘public sphere’ that was developed gradually by the tripartite agency of capitalism, colonialism and the evolutionary democracy-inspired modernity projects of the eighteenth century. How, we might ask? When the firm of Wallace McHarg Roberts and Todd (now WRT) of Philadelphia in the USA was commissioned in 1976 to prepare the master plan for the Nigerian Federal Capital City and Federal Capital Territory (FCC and FCT) at a centralized location in Abuja, the leader of the team, Thomas Todd, looked for philosophical and design inspiration in the master plan for Washington D.C. prepared by Major Pierre (Peter) Charles L’Enfant in 1791. Todd knew that L’Enfant’s Washington was influenced by Versailles. The cynosure of the plan is Capitol Hill, the Mall, with the Washington Monument at the center, the White House at right angles to the Mall, and the Lincoln Memorial at the termination of the Mall. Federal museums and ministries flanked both sides of the Mall, and it is one of the most recognizable democratic spaces in the world. We are all aware that hybrids of this urban design model with expansive national malls spread around the world in Vienna, Moscow, Beijing, and later, in the twentieth century, in Canberra, New Delhi, Chandigarh, Islamabad – and Abuja, Nigeria. Abuja was designed (for 3 million inhabitants) at six times the scale on which Brasilia (pop. 500,000) was planned. Moreover, we cannot overlook how, following independence from the European colonial masters in the middle of the twentieth century, the search for democracy inspired the establishment of Dodoma, Tanzania; Lilongwe, Malawi; and Yamoussoukro, Côte d’Ivoire.4 Despite the fact that the Mall in Washington had undergone several revisions, it nevertheless retained its democracy inspired philosophical and ideological symbolism. In Nigeria, Todd and his team believed that the idealized urban form of Washington D.C. would transfer to the Nigerian people the United States’ model of democracy, which is guided by checks and balances in the division of powers among the Legislature, the Executive, and the Judiciary. Historians ground the social transformations of the late eighteenth century in the American and French


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