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

Turbulent Transition Imperils Tunisia’s Arab Spring Gains

Critics say new anti-terrorism laws worsen Tunisia's situation while others put faith in country’s vibrant civil organizations, women’s movement More

Burundi’s Political Crisis May Become Humanitarian One

United Nations aid agencies issue warning as deadly violence sends tens of thousands fleeing More

Yemenis Adjust to Life Under Houthi Rule

Locals want warring parties to strike deal to stop bloodletting before deciding how country is governed 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.
Texas Town Residents Told to 'Just Leave' Ahead of Flood Threati
X
Greg Flakus
May 29, 2015 11:24 PM
Water from heavy rain in eastern and central Texas is now swelling rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico, threatening towns along their banks. VOA’s Greg Flakus visited the town of Wharton, southwest of Houston, where the Colorado River is close to cresting.
Video

Video Texas Town Residents Told to 'Just Leave' Ahead of Flood Threat

Water from heavy rain in eastern and central Texas is now swelling rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico, threatening towns along their banks. VOA’s Greg Flakus visited the town of Wharton, southwest of Houston, where the Colorado River is close to cresting.
Video

Video New York's One World Trade Center Observatory Opens to Public

From New Jersey to Long Island, from Northern suburbs to the Atlantic Ocean, with all of New York City in-between.  That view became available to the public Friday as the One World Trade Center Observatory opened in New York -- atop the replacement for the buildings destroyed in the September 11, 2001, attacks.  VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports.
Video

Video Seoul Sponsors Korean Unification Fair

With inter-Korean relations deteriorating over the North’s nuclear program, past military provocations and human rights abuses, many Koreans still hold out hope for eventual peaceful re-unification. VOA’s Brian Padden visited a “unification fair” held this week in Seoul, where border communities promoted the benefits of increased cooperation.
Video

Video Purple Door Coffeeshop: Changing Lives One Cup at a Time

For a quarter of his life, Kevin Persons lived on the street. Today, he is working behind the counter of an espresso bar, serving coffee and working to transition off the streets and into a home. Paul Vargas reports for VOA.
Video

Video Modular Robot Getting Closer to Reality

A robot being developed at Carnegie Mellon University has evolved into a multi-legged modular mechanical snake, able to move over rugged surfaces and explore the surroundings. Scientists say such machines could someday help in search and rescue operations. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Shanghai Hosts Big Consumer Electronics Show

Electronic gadgets are a huge success in China, judging by the first Asian Consumer Electronics Show, held this week in Shanghai. Over the course of two days, more than 20,000 visitors watched, tested and played with useful and some less-useful electronic devices exhibited by about 200 manufacturers. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Forced to Return Home, Afghan Refugees Face Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.

VOA Blogs