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

Sydney Hostage-taker Failed to Manipulate Social Media

Gunman forced captives to use personal Facebook, YouTube accounts to issue his demands; online community helped flag messages, urged others not to share them More

UN Seeks $8.4 Billion to Help War-Hit Syrians

Effort aimed at helping Syrians displaced within their own country and those who've fled to neighboring ones More

Who Are the Pakistani Taliban?

It's an umbrella group of militant organizations whose objective is enforcement of Sharia in Pakistan 'whether through peace or war' 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.
Putin: Russian Economy to Rebound in 2 Yearsi
X
December 18, 2014 5:13 PM
Russian President Vladimir Putin held his annual end-of-the-year news conference Thursday, tackling questions on the Russian economy, the crisis in Ukraine and Russian relations with the west. VOA's Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Putin: Russian Economy to Rebound in 2 Years

Russian President Vladimir Putin held his annual end-of-the-year news conference Thursday, tackling questions on the Russian economy, the crisis in Ukraine and Russian relations with the west. VOA's Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid