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

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years 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.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs