News / Africa

    Economic Issues Key in Nigerian Presidential Vote

    A truck with an election campaign banner depicting Nigeria's incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan, in Lagos, Nigeria, Wednesday, April 13, 2011.
    A truck with an election campaign banner depicting Nigeria's incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan, in Lagos, Nigeria, Wednesday, April 13, 2011.
    Mariama Diallo

    After voting in parliamentary elections last weekend, Nigerians will once again head to the polls this Saturday.  This time around, the people of Africa's most populous country are getting ready to choose their next president.

    At a campaign rally in Lagos, presidential candidate Muhammadu Buhari, the leader of one of the main opposition parties, the Congress for Progressive Change, tells the crowd that despite Nigeria’s vast oil wealth, the majority of its people have not yet seen any benefit.

    "Where is the money? Why has the infrastructure collapsed? Corruption, this is what’s destroying Nigeria," said Buhari, a former military leader.

    Buhari first came to power in 1983 and some of his supporters say they remember the war he fought against corruption. But his rule only lasted two years because he was overthrown by the military.

    In his own campaign, incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan is promising to improve health and education, and focus on the economy. "To move a country from third world to first world like it has been done in other countries, it’s the economy. That is central," he said.

    This is the first time Jonathan has actually run for election. A Christian from the nation’s oil-rich southern delta, he inherited the presidency last year when his predecessor Umaru Yar’Adua, a Muslim from the north, passed away during his first term. Although Jonathan was the favorite coming into this year’s elections, his People’s Democratic Party saw significant losses in last Saturday's parliamentary voting.

    President Jonathan also faces a challenge from former Nigerian anti-corruption czar Nuhu Ribadu.  Leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria party, he is a former police officer who also once served as the country’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commissioner under former president Olesegun Obasanjo.

    In a country where most people live on less than $2 a day, he says his number one priority would be to get ordinary Nigerians out of poverty. "I want you to give me the opportunity and the chance for me to lead this change that we desire in this country," he said.

    Ibrahim Shekarau of the All-Nigerian People's Pary rounds out the list of major contenders - with numerous minor candidates also in the running.

    Though economic issues play a large part in the campaign, religious identity is also a factor.

    "There is no way you can take religion out of politics particularly in a democracy like Nigeria and lots of the candidates have used faith as a campaign element," said Fred Oladeinde, president of the Foundation for Democracy in Africa, based in Washington. He says religion is important but issues are even more important.

    "I hope that when people go out on Saturday to vote, that they will despite their consideration for faith, they’ll put issues like security, stability, rights, and employment right in front as they also embrace their religion," he said.

    Oladeinde also says this election is especially important for Nigeria's young people. "There’s still so many talented, well-educated Nigerian youth that still cannot find employment in one of the fastest growing economies in the world.  This election is their election and they need to ensure that whoever is elected president of Nigeria is one that would ensure that their lunch, their breakfast and dinner is not eaten by the old political elite," he said.

    The 2007 elections were reportedly marred by irregularities. Nigerians hope this year's will be free and fair.

    You May Like

    Video Rubio Looks to Surge in New Hampshire

    Republican presidential candidate has moved into second place in several recent surveys and appears to be gaining ground on longtime frontrunner Donald Trump

    UN Calls for Global Ban on Female Genital Mutilation

    Recent UNICEF report finds at least 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone female genital mutilation in 30 countries

    UN Pilots New Peace Approach in CAR

    Approach launched in northern town of Kaga Bandoro, where former combatants of mainly Muslim Seleka armed group and Christian and animist anti-Balaka movement are being paid to do community work

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.