News / Africa

    Nigerian Senators, Former Governor Switch Sides

    Heather Murdock
    Nigeria's ruling People's Democratic Party appears to be crumbling as five more senators defected to a powerful new opposition coalition.  But some analysts said it’s not just ruling party members adjusting allegiances ahead of 2015 presidential elections. 
     
    The People’s Democratic Party, or the PDP, has been in power in Nigeria since the country transitioned from military rule to democracy in 1999.  It is easily the most powerful, organized and well-funded party in the country.
     
    But in recent months, the unshakable prowess of the PDP has been challenged as five governors and 37 members of the House of Representatives abandoned the party.  They all joined a new party, the All Progressive Congress, or APC, which formed last year when Nigeria’s major opposition parties merged.
     
    “The battle within the party is intensifying,” said Clement Nwankwo, director of the Democracy and Legal Advocacy Center in Abuja.
     
    He said the battle began because Nigeria’s many problems haven’t been fixed or even addressed in the past four years under President Goodluck Jonathan.  The country’s poverty, insecurity, lack of electricity, and near-economic collapse in several regions are just some reasons the president’s party is losing clout.

    “Conversely, you have people who love the environment that he provides for their business, for their making money and so on.  So they would do everything to keep him there.  Including close aids of his keep saying to him, ‘Mr. President, don’t mind all of them.  The PDP is a big machine.  It’s going to win elections,” said Nwankwo.  
     
    But it’s not just ruling party members that are changing allies.
     
    This is Ibrahim Shekarau, an APC leader and a former governor of Kano state, holding a press conference alongside dozens of other northern leaders on Wednesday.  He says they are all leaving the new opposition, to join the ruling party.  He said the APC lacks “commitment, transparency and accountability.”
     
    Some observers say political moves made these days are more about jockeying for power than supporting policies.  Onyiye Gandhi, a lawyer in the Niger Delta, the heart of Jonathan’s support base. “This is politics. You only have permanent interests.  There are no permanent friends," Gandhi explained. "There are no permanent enemies.”  
     
    The elections are planned for early 2015 and Jonathan is widely expected to run.  After his 2011 victory, nearly a thousand people were killed in post-election violence.

    Hilary Ugaru contributed to this report from Niger Delta.

    You May Like

    Syrian Rebel Realignment Likely as al-Qaida Leader Blesses Split

    Jihadist group Jabhat al-Nusra splits from al-Qaida in what observers dub a ‘deception and denial’ exercise

    New India Child Labor Law Could Make Children More Vulnerable

    Concerns that allowing children to work in family enterprises will push more to work

    What Take-out Food Reveals About American History

    Carry-out food explains a lot about the changes taking place in society, so here's the deal with pizza, Chinese food and what racism has to do with taking food to go

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments page of 2
        Next 
    by: Uyome from: Asaba, Nigeria
    February 04, 2014 8:55 AM
    I still do not see any meaningful progress coming out from the APC because its composition first speaks for its self. The APC is lopsided as an Islamic party and those not have a National outlook as a party for Nigeria in its composition on-like PDP . Take a close look at its executive, its imperative that voting any person from this party, APC is like accepting the norms of Islamic charade in our constitution which of course is not balance.
    As a South-South and Old Eastern Region citizen, I would re-vote President GEJ for second term and prefer to vote a South-Easterner in 2015.

    by: john fashek from: lagos nigeria
    February 03, 2014 8:13 AM
    Frankly speaking, it is not the problem president jonathan administration that is ineffective but the problems of the northern nigeria who wants to conolise the whole Nigeria for life that is the problem of Nigeria! They have sponsored boko haram terrorists insurgents to kill Innocent people and make government, as the fulanis of northern nigeria promised to make old Nigeria of today ungovernable, makes Nigeria of present day moving towards anarchy! Only God in His mercy can save people of Nigeria from heartless people

    by: Vakaa mathias from: Gboko,benue state
    February 03, 2014 2:42 AM
    We are not going continue as fools in this contry,democracy as of 1999 thier is nothing point so let them go and vote thier self .

    by: Ochigbo from: Kaduna
    February 03, 2014 2:31 AM
    change is the only constant thing in life. this current happening is good for democracy.

    by: Great nigeria from: PH
    February 02, 2014 1:51 AM
    Great nigeria youth, do not be decieved by the antics & gimicks of the so called APC selfish/greedy politician, because it's an old wine in a new bottle. God bless nigeria!

    by: omaliko india from: India
    February 01, 2014 11:14 PM
    This APC members where are they when the former president olushegu obasanjo and Atiku abubaka was in power? Yaladua was also in power no comment because of their return from the power holder .. now that Jonathan says no for all this corruption every one become angry with him and plan boko haram to claim amnesty... the Muslim world want to tun Nigeria to Muslim country which is not going to happen.. now that Jonathan look at our economy

    by: kabiru Bako from: jalingo
    February 01, 2014 6:16 PM
    vote Gudluck Jonathan for President..Alh Garba Umar UTC for Governor Taraba state.insha Allah.

    by: Emmanuel Ukpe from: Silver Spring, MD
    February 01, 2014 3:01 PM
    Nigerians, please do not be fooled, regardless how much a snake changes skin, it will always remain a snake…Decamping to ACP, are just bunch of disgruntle politicians. Changing party from PDP to APC does not change the personality…Ask yourself, how many corruption bill/s did our law makers present in the last 12years of democracy? How many of these Senators/Member of the House of Rep., did you see visit their constituency to check if things are okay with the people they represent? Do not forget that these elected officials get allowances in millions of Naira every quarter (not their salary) to represent and visit your constituency…Changing party is not going to change their behavior. Fellow Nigerians, politicians jumping ship is simply for their selfish-interest, not for us…if we truly want a change, the only way to a positive change for the country is; DO NOT REELECT ALL THESE BAD EGGS.

    by: olokodana yusuf from: lagos nigeria
    February 01, 2014 1:05 PM
    The only thing that can save Nigeria is CHANGE. We are tired of these PURLOINS DECEIVING PEOPLE{PDP}

    by: anonymous from: Nigeria
    February 01, 2014 12:06 PM
    it seems Nigerians are tired of this entanglement and want to seek real freedom. Hence they want to create the change they aspire to see.
    In Response

    by: One Nation from: lagos
    February 01, 2014 7:26 PM
    It is only the opposition uniting to make fools of themselves. Nigerians know better than to allow the nation fall into wrong hands hands the interest of which is to loot and to bare their teeth
    Comments page of 2
        Next 

    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.
    Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Busi
    X
    July 28, 2016 4:16 AM
    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Philadelphia Uses DNC Spotlight to Profile Historic Role in Founding of United States

    The slogan of the Democratic National Convention now underway in Philadelphia is “Let’s Make History Again” which recognizes the role the city played in the foundation of the United States in the 18th century. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, local institutions are opening their doors in an effort to capitalize on the convention spotlight to draw visitors, and to offer more than just a history lesson.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora