News / Africa

Nigerian Analyst Sees Close Contest in Ruling Party Primary

University of Abuja professor Kabiru Mato says both President Goodluck Jonathan and former VP Atiku Abubakar have certain advantages

Goodluck Jonathan (left), Atiku Abubakar
Goodluck Jonathan (left), Atiku Abubakar

Multimedia

Audio
  • University of Abuja professor Kabiru Mato spoke with Butty

James Butty

A Nigerian political analyst has told VOA the possibility exists for either Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan or former Vice President Atiku Abubakar to be chosen as the presidential candidate for the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

Tuesday, the PDP certified three candidates for Thursday's scheduled presidential primary.

President Goodluck Jonathan will compete against former vice president Atiku Abubakar and veteran politician Sarah Jibril to be the PDP’s candidate in the scheduled April election.

Professor Kabiru Mato, chair of the political science department at the University of Abuja, said the PDP made a wise decision in choosing President Jonathan and former Vice President Abubakar to compete in the primary.

“Given the nation’s political temperature, it would be unwise for the party to disqualify any of its contenders, especially the two most serious ones, among them the incumbent, President Goodluck Jonathan, and his challenger, Atiku Abubakar. So, I think it’s not an issue that came to anybody in Nigeria as a surprise,” he said.

Mato said both candidates stand a chance of being chosen as the PDP’s flag bearer during Thursday’s primary.

“Each of the two major candidates, in my view, has ample opportunity and chance of striking a major political victory, especially in the last hours leading up to the primary. So, the pendulum can go either way. I think it would depend to a great extent on what advantages the two major candidates would take in the minutes and hours leading up to the party primary,” Mato said.

He said both President Jonathan and former vice president Abubakar enjoy certain advantages.

“The first thing is that a candidate wins by enjoying a simple majority of votes. Basically, there are three aspirants, but only two of them are serious aspirants. What I think is very essential is the factor of incumbency, which I think President Jonathan might enjoy. But, also, another factor is regional sympathy and political sophistication, which Abubakar possesses. But certainly, each of the candidates has almost similar chances of taking the party’s ticket,” Mato said.

The PDP has a custom of rotating power between the mostly Muslim north and largely Christian south every two terms. Mr. Jonathan is from the south, but he became president when Umaru Yar'adua, a northern Muslim, died in office.

Some in Nigeria had protested Mr. Jonathan's candidacy. But, on Monday, a Nigerian court threw out a suit brought by three PDP members to try to stop Mr. Jonathan from running.

Mato said the rotating presidency issue could sway a number of northern votes in favor of Abubakar.

“That’s one of the factors that, in my view, could sway quite a number of northern votes toward Abubakar because, truly, the question of rotation and zoning of political offices, especially the presidency, has always been an integral part of the PDP constitution,” Mato said.

Mato said he hopes the PDP convention committee that would be running Thursday’s presidential primary election would be transparent.

You May Like

US Firms Concerned About China's New Cyber Regulations

New rules would require technology companies doing business in financial sector to hand over their source code, adopt Chinese encryption algorithms More

WHO Focus on Ebola Shifts to Ending Outbreak

Focus to be less on building facilities and more on efforts to find infected people, manage their cases, engage with communities and ensure proper burials More

US Scientist Who Conceived of Groundbreaking Laser Technology Dies

Charles Townes, Nobel laureate, laser co-creator paved way for other scientific discoveries: CDs, eye surgery, metal cutters to name a few technologies that rely on lasers 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.
Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Webi
X
January 29, 2015 9:58 AM
Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video As Ground Shifts, Obama Reviews Middle East Strategy

The death of Saudi Arabia’s king, the collapse of a U.S.-friendly government in Yemen and a problematic relationship with Israel’s leadership are presenting a new set of complications for the Obama administration and its Middle East policy. Not only is the U.S. leader dealing with adversaries in Iran, the Islamic State and al-Qaida, but he is now juggling trouble with traditional allies, as White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long-distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures - for now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Saved By a Mistake - an Auschwitz Survivor's Story

Dagmar Lieblova was 14 when she arrived at Auschwitz in December 1943, along with her entire Czech Jewish family. All of them were to die there, but she was able to leave after several months due to a bureaucratic mix-up which saved her life. Now 85, with three children and six grandchildren, she says she has a feeling of victory. This report by Ahmad Wadiei and Farin Assemi, of RFE/RL's Radio Farda is narrated by RFE’s Raymond Furlong.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid