News / Africa

Nigerian President Prepares for Inauguration

Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara (R) is greeted by Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan during his inauguration ceremony at the Felix Houphouet-Boigny Foundation in Yamoussoukro, May 21, 2011
Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara (R) is greeted by Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan during his inauguration ceremony at the Felix Houphouet-Boigny Foundation in Yamoussoukro, May 21, 2011

Nigeria is preparing to inaugurate President Goodluck Jonathan on Sunday. But challengers in last month's election are in court contesting the result and alleging vote fraud.  

Nigeria's electoral commission says Jonathan won more than 22 million votes, finishing well ahead of former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari's 12 million votes.

But  Buhari says the vote was rigged with electoral commission computers that deflated his share of the vote in northern states and inflated  Jonathan's share of the vote in southern states.

Lawyers for  Buhari's political party are in court asking the Independent National Electoral Commission - or INEC - to hand over materials that they say will allow them to prove scientifically that the vote was stolen. Abubakar Malami is an attorney for  Buhari's party.

"We want to now use the data that has been generated by INEC in relation to the fingerprint vis a vis the fingerprint impression on the ballot papers to cross-match and ascertain whether indeed truly the voters who were registered at various polling units were indeed the people who had actually voted for the purpose of that election,” said Malami.

Jonathan's ruling People's Democratic Party has won every presidential election since Nigeria's return to civilian rule in 1999.  Ruling-party attorney Joe Kyari Gadzama says he is confident the president's election will be upheld. "It is our hope that this journey will be a smooth one because, in the past, we have participated in similar proceedings and all went on well,” Gadzama stated.

Following the vote, Human Rights Watch says at least 800 people were killed during violence by both mostly-Muslim Buhari supporters and mostly-Christian Jonathan supporters.

Gadzama says it is far better for Nigerians to resolve their political differences in court.

"The judiciary is the last hope of the common man.  The judiciary is the stabilizer of our polity in this country.  Nigerians, particularly the politicians, have recognized the need to continually come back to the court for the resolution and determination of all electoral and political matters.  And, that is how it should be,” he said.

Past electoral challenges have taken months for Nigerian courts to decide.  Buhari lawyer Malami says it is not about doing this quickly, it is about ensuring that the outcome of the presidential election reflects the will of the voters.

'The length of time is not an issue, but the fundamental consideration is the truth associated with the election, for us to establish the truth,” he said. “It has been acclaimed to be a free and fair election, and that contradicts our perception of the election.”

Jonathan begins a week of activities leading up to his inauguration in a meeting with private sector leaders chaired by Special Adviser to the United Nations Secretary General Jeffrey Sachs.

Jonathan is promising to move quickly to improve public infrastructure, power supply, education, health care, and job creation. Sachs says Nigeria's successful elections give it the opportunity to consolidate democracy and rapidly develop its economy.


You May Like

Mood Tense Ahead of Scotland Independence Vote

As race to persuade undecided voters continues, No voters say they believe life in Scotland will slowly improve and do not want to take a risk by endorsing independence More

South Africa’s 'Open Mosque' Admits Everyone, Including Critics

Open Mosque founder plans to welcome gay worshipers and allow women to lead prayers More

Ukrainian Activist in Despair About Future of Her Country

IrIna Dovgan, accused of being a spy and tortured by pro-Russian separatists, is appealing to UN Human Rights Council to support her country 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.
NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Spacei
X
September 17, 2014 4:20 AM
The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid