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Nigerian Ruling Party Boss Resigns Over Graft Allegations

The chairman of Nigeria's ruling People’s Democratic Party has resigned, opening the way for President Goodluck Jonathan to appoint his successor.

Vincent Ogbuluafor left the job after the influential governor’s forum passed a no-confidence vote on him following his trial for corruption.

Ogbuluaofor caused controversy when he said Jonathan will not be a candidate for the party in next year’s election. Analysts say the Nigerian leader will now appoint an ally who can guarantee him the PDP ticket, despite the party’s zoning arrangement which favors the north.

Sina Loremikan is the southwest coordinator for the Zero Corruption Coalition - an anti-graft NGO.He says the outcry against corrupt leaders by the country’s poor is paying off.

“I think there is a silent revolution going on in Nigeria," he said. "The silent revolution is witnessing some of the big wigs being swallowed by the judiciary and the various anti-corruption agencies.”

Loremikan takes issue with those who feel Ogbuluafor’s removal is aimed at paving the way for Jonathan’s possible candidacy next year. He says the focus should be on what comes out of the corruption trial.

“The question we should be asking ourselves is: are those allegations likely to be sustained by the state, did those allegations ever occur, was he a former minister, [were] his hands stained with corruption, is he an arrogant man leading the so called the most influential party in Africa? I think the trial will give us lots of answers to all these questions,” he said.

He adds that the law is clear on how to address issues of graft against government officials.

“To the best of my knowledge, the criminal law in Nigeria can be opened at any time and closed at any time against any one. That you committed those criminal offence 21 years ago does not mean the book has been closed against you,” he said.