News / Africa

Security Tight as Nigeria's Ruling Party Meets to Choose Presidential Nominee

Police women stand in front of voting centres ahead of the presidential primaries of the ruling People Democratic Party in Abuja, 13 Jan 2011
Police women stand in front of voting centres ahead of the presidential primaries of the ruling People Democratic Party in Abuja, 13 Jan 2011

Multimedia

Audio

Leaders of Nigeria's ruling party are meeting to choose their presidential candidate amid tight security following a series of bombings.

Thousands of police, soldiers, and civil defense forces are on patrol to safeguard the ruling People's Democratic Party primary. Anti-terrorism personnel and bomb disposal units are also on duty.

Vehicles have been cleared from the vicinity of Eagle Square where the primary is being held and everyone entering the venue is being screened, including delegates. Police Inspector General Hafiz Ringim says the public should be on alert for unattended bags or other suspicious packages.

An Independence Day bombing near Eagle Square killed 12 people in October. A new year's eve blast near a military barracks in Abuja killed four people. President Goodluck Jonathan says that attack was the work of a radical Muslim group that claimed responsibility for a Christmas Eve bomb in the northern city of Jos that killed 80 people.

President Jonathan is one of three candidates seeking the ruling-party's nomination alongside former vice president Atiku Abubakar and veteran politician Sarah Jibril.

Nigeria's ruling party has won the last three presidential elections, so the winner of this primary will be the clear frontrunner in April's vote.

But the nearly 4,000 party delegates are also deciding the future of an informal power-sharing deal that rotates the presidency between Nigeria's mainly Muslim north and its predominantly Christian south.

If delegates choose Mr. Abubakar they will be abiding by an agreement that gives northern Nigerians another four years in office following the death of President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua.

If delegates choose Mr. Jonathan they will be breaking with that plan in favor of a southern politician who came to office because he was Mr. Yar'Adua's vice president.

Both candidates are campaigning on promises of improving security, creating jobs, and boosting electricity supplies.

Mr. Abubakar says he has more government experience than Mr. Jonathan and says Nigeria can not afford to leave democracy in the "hands of those ill-prepared for the challenges."

Mr. Jonathan's campaign is urging party delegates not to sell their votes to what it calls "desperate politicians" who are trying to buy the ruling-party nomination in what the campaign says is a "cheap inducement" capable of mortgaging the country's future.

You May Like

Video Experts Warn World Losing Ebola Fight

Doctors Without Borders says world is losing battle against Ebola, unless wealthy nations dispatch specialized biological disaster response teams More

Video Experts: Rise of Islamic State Significant Development in Jihadism

Many analysts contend the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years More

US-Based Hong Kongers Pledge Support for Pro-Democracy Activists

Democracy advocates call on Chinese living abroad to join them in opposing new election rules for their home territory More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearancei
X
Elizabeth Lee
September 02, 2014 8:57 PM
Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearance

Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Experts See Rise of ISIS as Significant Development

The Islamic State’s rise seems sudden. It caught the U.S. by surprise this summer when it captured large portions of northern Iraq and spread its wings in neighboring Syria. But many analysts contend that the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years. VOA's Jela de Franceschi takes a closer look at the rise of ISIS and its implications for the Middle East and beyond.
Video

Video Israel Concerned Over Syrian Rebels in Golan

Israeli officials are following with concern the recent fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces near the contested Golan Heights. Forty-four U.N. peacekeepers from Fiji have been seized by Syrian Islamist rebels and the clashes occasionally have spilled into Israel. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.

AppleAndroid