News / Africa

Professor Predicts a Tense Political Season for Nigeria's Ruling Party

Kabiru Mato of the University of Abuja says the announcements by president Jonathan and Babangida set the stage for a charged political season

Multimedia

Audio
James Butty

A Nigerian political science professor said given the current political climate, particularly within the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP), the country could be headed for a serious political disaster come 2011 unless a concerted effort is made to avert that.

This comes as Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan on Wednesday used his Face book site to publicly announce his candidacy in the upcoming presidential election.

A few hours later, former military ruler Ibrahim Babangida officially declared his own candidacy at a rally in Abuja. Both are seeking the nomination of the ruling PDP.

Professor Kabiru Mato, chair of the political science department at University of Abuja said the announcements set the stage for a charged political atmosphere in Nigeria.

“The two events, in my view, make the political atmosphere very charged. It’s now very glaring that perhaps Nigerians in the next few months will be treated to a very high political game of intrigue of the various contending forces, especially given the background the People’s Democratic Party is the ruling party,” he said.

Former military ruler Babangida and former vice president Atiku Abukakar are both Muslims who will challenge President Jonathan, a Christian from the south for the PDP’s nomination.

Professor Mato said he was skeptical and fearful for the future of Nigeria because of the current nature of politics within the ruling PDP.

“The political concomitance, as it appears, to me looks very dangerous in the immediate future and unless a very concerted effort is put in place, Nigeria will be heading for a very serious disaster come 2011,” Mato said.

He said one of the main sources of tension within the ruling PDP is the view from party’s northern members that President Jonathan’s decision to run violates an informal power-sharing agreement within the ruling party to rotate the presidency between the north and the south.

“(President) Goodluck Jonathan is insisting that zoning arrangement that the PDP has had is still in force. And therefore as a result of the death of former President Umaru Yar’Adua it is constitutionally okay for Goodluck Jonathan to handle the mandate based on the provision of the Nigerian constitution, and even go further by exercising his fundamental human rights by contesting for the presidency in 2011,” Mato said.

He said the south has had two terms, a total of eight years, and the north feels it deserves to have two terms.

Mr. Jonathan took office in May after the death of President Umaru Yar'Adua, a Muslim. Mr. Yar'Adua died about three years into what was expected to be an eight-year presidency.

In his Internet posting Wednesday, Mr. Jonathan pledged to Nigerians that, if elected, he would always tell the truth and listen to the people.

President Jonathan also said that he was responding to pressure from various quarters to continue with the work of his administration.

Professor Mato described the president’s comments as the usual political rhetoric by African leaders to remain in power.

“I would dispute that claim by President Jonathan on the grounds that technically speaking one cannot lay hands or identify any particular serious economic, social political program that the government is engaged in at the moment to the extent that Nigerians will be putting tremendous pressure as he claims for the president to contest election,” Mato said.

You May Like

China’s Influence Grows With New Infrastructure Bank

Multibillion-dollar China-backed and BRICS-supported Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank seen as possible challenger to such lenders as IMF, World Bank More

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

Rabbi Michel Serfaty makes the rounds in his friendship bus to encourage dialogue and break down barriers between the two groups More

Post-deal Iran Leaders Need 'Economic Momentum' to Solidify

Economists say deal could inject more than $100 billion into coffers - not enough to entirely rescue ailing economy - but maybe adequate to create 'economic momentum' 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.
US Gay Marriage Ruling Yields Real-life Impacti
X
Michael Bowman
June 28, 2015 10:05 PM
Friday’s landmark Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the United States is an outcome few thought possible just years ago, and shows a nation that increasingly tolerates and even celebrates the hopes and aspirations of gay people. VOA’s Michael Bowman spoke to a same-sex couple that will benefit from the high court ruling, and to a Christian scholar who is apprehensive about its potential consequences for America’s faith community.
Video

Video US Gay Marriage Ruling Yields Real-life Impact

Friday’s landmark Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the United States is an outcome few thought possible just years ago, and shows a nation that increasingly tolerates and even celebrates the hopes and aspirations of gay people. VOA’s Michael Bowman spoke to a same-sex couple that will benefit from the high court ruling, and to a Christian scholar who is apprehensive about its potential consequences for America’s faith community.
Video

Video Syrians Flee IS Advance in Hasaka

The Syrian government said Monday it has taken back one of several districts in Hasaka overrun by Islamic State militants. But continued fighting elsewhere in the northern city has forced thousands of civilians from their homes. In this report narrated by Bill Rodgers, VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer describes the scene in Amouda, where some of the displaced are taking refuge.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video S. Korea Christians Protest Gay Rights Festival

The U.S. Supreme Court decision mandating marriage equality nationwide has energized gay rights supporters around the world. Gay rights remain a highly contentious issue in a key U.S. ally, South Korea, where police did a deft job Sunday of preventing potential clashes between Christian protesters and gay activists. Kurt Achin reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Syrian Refugees Return to Tal Abyad

Syrian refugees in Turkey confirm they left their hometown of Tal Abyad because of intense fighting and coalition airstrikes, not because Kurdish fighters were engaged in ethnic cleansing, as some Turkish officials charged. VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer, in Tal Abyad, finds that civilians coming back to the town agree, as we hear in this report narrated by Roger Wilkison.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.
Video

Video In Syrian Crisis, Social Media Offer Small Comforts

Za’atari, a makeshift city in Jordan, may be the only Syrian refugee camp to tweet its activities, in an effort to keep donors motivated as the war in Syria intensifies and the humanitarian crisis deepens. Inside the camp, families say mobile phone applications help hold together families that are physically torn apart. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Chemical-Sniffing Technology Fights Australia's Graffiti Vandals

Cities and towns all over the world spend huge amounts of resources battling graffiti writers who deface buildings, public transport vehicles and even monuments. Authorities in Sydney, Australia, hope a new chemical-sniffing technology finally will stop vandals from scribbling on walls in the passenger areas of commuter trains. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Cambodia Struggling to Curb Child Labor

Earlier this year a United Nations report found 10 percent of Cambodian children aged 7-14 are working – one of the highest rates in the region – and said one in four children in that age bracket are forced to quit school to help their families. Although the child labor rate has dropped over the past decade, Cambodia has a lot more to do – including keeping more children in school. Robert Carmichael reports for VOA from Phnom Penh.

VOA Blogs