News / Africa

Nigeria Opposition Merge to Challenge President's Party

Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan presents the 2013 budget proposal at a joint sitting of the parliament in the capital Abuja October 10, 2012. Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan presents the 2013 budget proposal at a joint sitting of the parliament in the capital Abuja October 10, 2012.
x
Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan presents the 2013 budget proposal at a joint sitting of the parliament in the capital Abuja October 10, 2012.
Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan presents the 2013 budget proposal at a joint sitting of the parliament in the capital Abuja October 10, 2012.
Reuters
Nigeria's four main opposition movements announced a merger, posing the stearnest threat in years to President Goodluck Jonathan's ruling party ahead of elections in 2015.
    
Supporters said the new All Progressive Congress (APC) - made up of four regional parties - was the most significant effort to date to form a national opposition group in a country driven by geographic rivalries and an Islamist insurgency.
    
Past, smaller, attempts at opposition alliances have fallen apart amid infighting and analysts said, judging by past form, the new party might struggle to agree on a single presidential candidate for the vote.

"At no time in our national life has radical change become more urgent,'' said a statement signed on Wednesday by representatives of the four parties - the ACN, ANPP, APGA and CPC.

"[We are] determined to bring corruption and insecurity to an end, to grow our economy and create jobs in their millions and stop the increasing mood of despair and hopelessness among our people,'' they added.
    
President Jonathan's People's Democratic Party (PDP), which has won every presidential election since Africa's biggest oil producer returned to civilian rule 14 years ago, dismissed the new union.

"They are not a threat at all ... PDP is Messi in that contest,'' the party's national chairman Bamanga Tukur told reporters, likening his movement to the all-conquering Argentina and Barcelona soccer player Lionel Messi.

The PDP controls around two-thirds of the states and has a healthy majority in both houses of the national assembly.

The four merging parties control almost all the remaining seats and marginally reduced the PDP's majority in both the states and parliament in elections in 2011.
    
Infighting
   
Opposition attempts to form an alliance before that vote failed after the parties did not manage to agree on a single presidential candidate.
    
Analysts said the squabbling was typical of a system were politicians were often accused of putting personal and regional gains ahead of party loyalty and voters' interests.

"Policy and ideology do not feature prominently in a political discourse in Nigeria that is principally about winning or losing - and personal rivalries,'' said Nigeria analyst Antony Goldman, head of Africa-focused PM Consulting.

"The challenge will be translate such common purpose from principle to practice,'' Goldman added.
    
Tightly fought elections in Africa's second biggest economy can often stoke violence. Hundreds were killed in riots in the mostly Muslim north when Christian southerner Jonathan won the presidential vote two years ago.

Jonathan has not said whether he will run again.

The APC merger was brokered this week by 10 opposition state governors, many of whom will end their terms in 2015 and are looking for new roles.

It was not clear whether the merger wqas backed by all the four parties' state governors and lawmakers.
    
Official changes of party will have to be agreed with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). The INEC spokesman did not respond to calls for comment.

You May Like

Video Experts Warn World Losing Ebola Fight

Doctors Without Borders says world is losing battle against Ebola, unless wealthy nations dispatch specialized biological disaster response teams More

Video Experts: Rise of Islamic State Significant Development in Jihadism

Many analysts contend the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years More

US-Based Hong Kongers Pledge Support for Pro-Democracy Activists

Democracy advocates call on Chinese living abroad to join them in opposing new election rules for their home territory More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearancei
X
Elizabeth Lee
September 02, 2014 8:57 PM
Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearance

Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Experts See Rise of ISIS as Significant Development

The Islamic State’s rise seems sudden. It caught the U.S. by surprise this summer when it captured large portions of northern Iraq and spread its wings in neighboring Syria. But many analysts contend that the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years. VOA's Jela de Franceschi takes a closer look at the rise of ISIS and its implications for the Middle East and beyond.
Video

Video Israel Concerned Over Syrian Rebels in Golan

Israeli officials are following with concern the recent fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces near the contested Golan Heights. Forty-four U.N. peacekeepers from Fiji have been seized by Syrian Islamist rebels and the clashes occasionally have spilled into Israel. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.

AppleAndroid