News / Africa

Divisions Threaten Continued Dominance of Nigeria's Ruling Party

Divisions within Nigeria's ruling party threaten its continued dominance as the country prepares for elections next year.

The People's Democratic Party is the undisputed king of Nigerian politics, having won the last three presidential elections, holding majorities in both houses of parliament, and controlling more than three quarters of Nigeria's state governorships.

But the PDP is split by a series of internal battles over a party chairman facing federal corruption charges and the suspension of party leaders who want to make the selection of candidates more transparent.

With politicians positioning themselves for elections next year, acting President Goodluck Jonathan says the ruling party's continued dominance of Nigerian politics is under threat.

"If we all don't work together, then of course we can not win elections mostly. One major challenge we have as the ruling party is that demands will be there. Opposition will want to crack that," he said.

But it is not external opponents who pose the biggest threat to PDP control because no other party has the breadth of membership or depth of organization.

"If you think of the threat to that dominance in terms of enabling the other parties to gain further ground, I wouldn't think so. If you think of the threat to the PDP in terms of its breaking up, becoming something different from what we know now, yes, that is possible," said Nnamdi Obasi,   a senior analyst with the International Crisis Group.

Would-be reformers believe the selection of President Umaru Yar'adua was unduly orchestrated by former president Olusegun Obasanjo. With President Yar'adua too ill to finish his first term, they want the selection of the next candidate to be more transparent.

Obasi says the party's reform movement is a combination of principle and private interest.

"There are people who are not really interested in running for any office but think that the debacle of the Yar'adua administration was brought about because the selection of Yar'adua was not a free and fair process," he said. "If you [had] free and fair primaries, you would have gotten a more competent, and perhaps more healthy person into that position. And the same thing applies to governorships in a number of places. So first of all, there is an interest in democratizing the process of the primaries."

Obasi says there are others who want to change the rules to boost their own political fortunes.

"There are members of the reform movement who have their own personal interests and see the powers of the governors as standing directly in the way of their own ambitions. And so they are fighting for reforms not from the point of view of principle, not from the point of view of achieving greater internal democracy in their party, but strictly in order to enable their own realization of their own ambitions," said Obasi.

Acting President Jonathan says the issue is not the difference of opinions within the PDP, but how some members have allowed those differences to divide the party.

"In every human society there may be tendency for people to disagree on certain issues," he said. "Even husbands and wives will always disagree. But the most important [thing is] this is how we resolve our crises, and PDP has the power to do so."

Mr. Jonathan says the dispute may ultimately help the party.

"Maybe some of this helps PDP to work together. And I always believe in PDP. There are people who believe PDP will split into fragments, but no matter we disagree, at the end of the day PDP will come on stronger," he said.

Mr. Jonathan himself is one of the areas of dispute within the party as he is from southern Nigeria and has not ruled out running in next year's election.

Party Chairman Vincent Ogbulafor says the next candidate should be from northern Nigeria to complete the eight years promised northern politicians under an informal power-sharing agreement that rotates the presidency between the mainly-Muslim north and largely-Christian south every two terms.

You May Like

Scotland Vote Raises Questions of International Law

Experts say self-determination, as defined and protected by international law, confined narrowly to independence movements in process of de-colonization More

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

Conservationists hail ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015 More

Annual Military Exercise Takes on New Meaning for Ukraine Troops

Troops from 15 nations participating in annual event, 'Rapid Trident' in western Ukraine 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.
Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctionsi
X
September 18, 2014 2:28 AM
A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid