World News

Former Nigerian President Tells Jonathan Not to Seek New Term

The office of Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan is responding harshly to a letter from former President Olusegun Obasanjo, who strongly urged Mr. Jonathan not to seek re-election in 2015.

In a statement, presidential adviser Reuben Abati acknowledged the letter was received, but says it is "highly unbecoming, mischievous and provocative" that the letter was leaked to the media.

He says the president has told aides not to discuss the content of the letter, but adds Mr. Jonathan will eventually respond to what the adviser calls the "reckless, baseless" charges against him.

Several news organizations have published excerpts of the 18-page letter. In it, Mr. Obasanjo writes that it would be a "fatally and morally flawed" decision for Mr. Jonathan to be a candidate in 2015.

The former president criticizes Mr. Jonathan's leadership and said he has allowed large-scale corruption in Nigeria, which is Africa's most populous nation and its biggest oil producer.



He also suggests Mr. Jonathan may be inadvertently dividing the country along religious lines.

Some Nigerians say Mr. Jonathan, a Christian from southern Nigeria, has broken an unwritten rule the presidency should rotate between the mostly Christian south and the mainly Muslim north.

Mr. Jonathan initially came to power in 2010, after the death of President Umaru Yar'Adua, a Muslim, after less than three years in office.

He was elected to his first full term the following year, in an election marred by violence and allegations of vote-rigging.

Mr. Obasanjo served as Nigeria's president from 1999 to 2007. He was previously a mentor and supporter of Mr. Jonathan, but relations between the two men have soured in recent years.

President Jonathan has faced a number of recent challenges to his leadership, including defections within the ruling People's Democratic Party.

In November, five powerful state governors who had left the People's Democratic Party announced they had joined the opposition All Progressives Congress Party.

The move bolsters the opposition's strength in parliament and could position it to mount a strong challenge against the People's Democratic Party in the upcoming elections.

The People's Democratic Party has been in power for 15 years, but has struggled with internal conflicts, especially since Mr. Jonathan's election.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmakingi
X
Bernard Shusman
May 24, 2015 2:55 PM
According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.
Video

Video Effort Underway to Limit Damage from California Oil Spill

Cleanup crews are working around the clock to remove oil from the waters off the coastal city of Santa Barbara, in California. About 380,000 liters of oil may have leaked out before a rupture in an onshore, underground pipeline was discovered Tuesday. The environmental disaster hit the popular West Coast resort area before the Memorial Day weekend. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports investigators have yet to determine what caused the incident.

VOA Blogs