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Nigerian Ruling Party Senior Members Threaten Legal Action Against President

  • Kim Lewis

Some senior members of Nigeria’s ruling party, the People’s Democratic Party, say they will take President Goodluck Jonathan to court if he fails to remove himself from next year’s presidential election.

They are asking the courts to compel the president to respect the zoning policy of the PDP.

From Awka in Anambra state, VOA's Chinedu Offor reports the senior members are under the umbrella known as the “Northern Elders Assembly.”

“They are asking the president to respect the zoning formula of the PDP because they say it is the constitution of the party and that he has to respect the rules made by the party—that the next president of the country should come from the north, and that effectively means Goodluck Jonathan should step down next year as the country’s leader,” explained Offor.

Offor said these members feel they do have a court case.

“They say they do have a case because it is written in a document of the PDP. They also point to the fact that former president Olusegun Obasanjo served two terms based on the zoning formula. They also say some party positions are shared on the basis of the zoning formula. And, some prominent northern politicians led by the former military head of state, Major-General Ibrahim Babangida, are trying to get all powerful northern politicians together to oppose the President as one group, united,” said Offor.

However, the President’s supporters say there is nothing in Nigeria’s constitution that stops the President from running in next year’s election.

“They are saying the Nigerian constitution is superior, and that the President would not in any way worry if such a case goes forth. They are pushing for Jonathan to run. A group known as “Support Jonathan 2011” has set up offices in all 36 states of Nigeria. They are recruiting members and they are taking out ads in newspapers and running commercials on TV and radio, clambering for people to support him”, explained Offor.