News / Africa

Security Adviser to Challenge Nigerian President for Ruling Party Nomination

Abdulhamid Yakubu Kwarra, director of policy and strategy to Aliyu Gusau says the former security adviser can win the PDP nomination


  • Gusau adviser Abdulhamid Yakubu Kwarra spoke with Butty

James Butty

The national security adviser to Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has resigned.

General Aliyu Gusau, who comes from northern Nigeria, said he will contest the 2011 presidential election on the ticket of the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan waves to the crowd before their campaign declaration in Abuja on September 18, 2010.
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan waves to the crowd before their campaign declaration in Abuja on September 18, 2010.

Abdulhamid Yakubu Kwarra, director of policy and strategy for General Gusau told VOA the former national security adviser is scheduled to pick up his nomination papers Monday from the PDP headquarters in Abuja.

“He resigned because he has this desire to aspire and to become a candidate under the platform of the People’s Democratic Party and to run for the presidential election in 2011,” he said.

Kwarra would not say whether Gusau’s desire to seek the PDP nomination was intended to hurt President Jonathan’s chances.

Instead, he said Gusau has a right under Nigerian constitution to run for any public office.

“I don’t think I will be willing to tell you why because I will not speak for (Mr.) Jonathan and neither will I give reasons as to why the general must have resigned. But, like I said, he primarily resigned because he intends to contest for an election under the platform of the PDP, which is a constitutional right. That has nothing to do with any other thing with Mr. President,” Yakubu Kwarra said.

He said he was optimistic Gusau, whom he described as popular, would put up a serious fight for the PDP nomination.

“Any attempt to aspire to public office is competition. So, it’s like a game. Naturally, if you decide to run for anything, it generates competition. As human beings, we expect the competition to sway either head or tail. Somebody, at the end of the day, will emerge,” he said

Gusau is the third northerner in addition to former military leader Ibrahim Babangida and former vice president Atiku Abubakar to seek the candidacy of the PDP for the 2011 elections.

Northern and southern members of the ruling PDP have an informal agreement under which the presidency is supposed to rotate between the mostly-Muslim north and predominantly Christian south.

Kwarra said the so-called zoning arrangement clashes with Nigeria’s constitution.

“The PDP constitution has clearly provided for zoning allocation of elected public offices. Secondly, the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has equally guaranteed the right of every Nigerian to aspire to any elected office in the country so long as he’s qualified for it. So, I wouldn’t want to delve into those things,” he said.

He said the thinking in northern Nigeria is for the presidency to remain in the north in line with the PDP zoning arrangement.

On the other hand, Kwarra said the PDP cannot deny President Jonathan the right to contest because it believes the Nigerian constitution is superior to any party arrangement.

He said he was confident the PDP will come together as a party once the nomination process is over.

You May Like

Video Russia’s Syrian Escalation Tests Obama’s Crisis Response

Critics once again question whether president has been slow to act on Syrian conflict, thus creating opening for powers like Russia More

Ancient African DNA Shows Mass Migration Back Into Africa

First genetic analysis of ancient human remains in Africa suggests massive migration from north around time of Egyptian empire More

NASA: Pluto Has Blue Sky

New photos also reveal the presence of water ice More

This forum has been closed.
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.
Hungary Criticized for Handling of Refugeesi
Henry Ridgwell
October 08, 2015 8:02 PM
Amnesty International has accused Hungary of breaking multiple international and European human rights laws in its handling of the refugee crisis. As Henry Ridgwell reports, thousands of migrants and refugees continue to travel through the Balkans to Hungary every day.

Video Hungary Criticized for Handling of Refugees

Amnesty International has accused Hungary of breaking multiple international and European human rights laws in its handling of the refugee crisis. As Henry Ridgwell reports, thousands of migrants and refugees continue to travel through the Balkans to Hungary every day.

Video Iraqi-Kurdish Teachers Vow to Continue Protest

Sixteen people were injured when police used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse teachers and other public employees who took to the streets in Iraq’s Kurdish north, demanding their salaries from the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG). VOA’s Dilshad Anwar, in Sulaimaniya, caught up with protesting teachers who say they have not been paid for three months. Parke Brewer narrates his report.

Video Syrian Village Community Faces Double Displacement in Lebanon

Driven by war from their village in southwestern Syria, a group of families found shelter in Lebanon, resettling en masse in a half-built university to form one of the biggest settlements of its kind in Lebanon. Three years later, however, they now face being kicked out and dispersed in a country where finding shelter as a refugee can be especially tough. John Owens has more for VOA from the city of Saida, also known as Sidon.

Video Bat Colony: Unusual Tourist Attraction in Texas

The action hero Batman might be everyone’s favorite but real bats hardly get that kind of adoration. Put more than a million of these creatures of the night together and it only evokes images of horror. Sarah Zaman visited the largest urban bat colony in North America to see just how well bat and human get along with each other.

Video Device Shows Promise of Stopping Motion Sickness

It’s a sickening feeling — the dizziness, nausea and vomiting that comes with motion sickness. But a device now being developed could stop motion sickness by suppressing certain signals in the brain. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.

Video Making a Mint

While apples, corn, and cranberries top the list of fall produce in the US, it’s also the time to harvest gum, candy, and toothpaste—or at least the oil that makes them minty fresh. Erika Celeste reports from South Bend, Indiana on the mint harvest.

Video Activists Decry Lagos Slum Demolition

Acting on a court order, authorities in Nigeria demolished a slum last month in the commercial capital, Lagos. But human rights activists say the order was illegal, and the community was razed to make way for a government housing project. Chris Stein has more from Lagos.

Video TPP Agreed, But Faces Stiff Opposition

President Barack Obama promoted the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Tuesday, one day after 12 Pacific Rim nations reached the free trade deal in Atlanta. The controversial pact that would involve about 40 percent of global trade still needs approval by lawmakers in respective countries. Zlatica Hoke reports Obama is facing strong opposition to the deal, including from members of his own party.

Video Ukranian Artist Portrays Putin in an Unusual Way

As Russian President Vladimir Putin was addressing the United Nations in New York last month, he was also being featured in an art exhibition in Washington. It’s not a flattering exhibit. It’s done by a Ukrainian artist in a unique medium. And its creator says it’s not only a work of art - it’s a political statement. VOA’s Tetiana Kharchenko has more.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

VOA Blogs