News / Africa

Nigerian President Faces No Main Rivals at Final Campaign Debate

Nigeria President Goodluck Jonathan, center, wave to his supporters during the final campaign rally, at Eagle Square in Abuja, March 26, 2011
Nigeria President Goodluck Jonathan, center, wave to his supporters during the final campaign rally, at Eagle Square in Abuja, March 26, 2011

Multimedia

Audio
TEXT SIZE - +

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has taken part in the final presidential debate before three weeks of nationwide elections. None of his main challengers took part because they are protesting the president's refusal to join an earlier debate.

President Jonathan had the stage to himself after all three of his main challengers boycotted the nationally-televised program over his decision to skip a debate earlier this month. Those rivals criticized the president for not showing up to defend a ruling party that has won every presidential contest since Nigeria's return to civilian rule in 1999.

Mr. Jonathan moved quickly to reassure voters that he has a record to run on. "I believe that Nigerians by today will know that Mr. President is not running away or shying away from explaining to them what we have been doing, from giving account of his stewardship," he said.

With no one to challenge his answers, it was more campaign speech than debate as Mr. Jonathan outlined goals for education and the economy.

Dates of Elections

  • National Assembly Elections
    2/4/2011 – 17/4/2011
  • Presidential Elections
    9/4/2011 – 10/4/2011
  • Government/State Assembly Elections
    16/4/2011 – 17/4/2011
  • Source: Nigeria Independent Electoral Commission

Presidential, legislative, and gubernatorial candidates are wrapping up their campaigns ahead of nationwide elections in Africa's most populous country. Issues of security and the economy have dominated the campaign. Human Rights Watch says the candidates are not paying enough attention to communal violence and corruption.

Election observers say they will be watching for signs of violence between Muslims and Christians in northern Nigeria, especially as Mr. Jonathan is from the predominantly Christian south and his three main challengers are from the mainly-Muslim north.

President Jonathan is promising free, fair, and credible elections that he says will restore Nigeria to its rightful place in the international community. "Even though I am contesting the election, I will ensure that the vote of Nigerians count. And that nobody will rig elections. Nobody will intimidate others," he said.

More than 70 million Nigerians are registered to take part in the vote.

Security forces are deploying across the country ahead of Saturday's first round of balloting to prevent further violence after a series of bomb attacks at campaign events over the last month.

View slide show on Nigerian elections:

You May Like

Algerians Vote in Presidential Election

There were few media reports of protests and clashes around the country, but so far no significant violence More

Sharks More Evolved than Previously Thought

The discovery could “profoundly affect our understanding of evolutionary history” More

Pakistan Military Asked to Protect Polio Workers

Request comes as authorities say a Taliban ban on vaccinations in 2012 and deadly attacks on anti-polio teams have prevented thousands of children from getting inoculated 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.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid