News / Africa

Nigerian President Wins Ruling-Party Nomination for April Vote

Nigeria's president Jonathan addresses delegates during the primaries of the ruling People's Democratic Party in Abuja, 13 Jan 2011
Nigeria's president Jonathan addresses delegates during the primaries of the ruling People's Democratic Party in Abuja, 13 Jan 2011

Multimedia

Audio

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan's victory in the ruling Peoples Democratic Party primary ends an informal agreement that rotated the party's presidential nominee between north and south.



That deal gave northern Nigerians another four years in office to complete what would have been the second term of the late president Umaru Musa Yar'adua. As a southerner, Mr. Jonathan challenged that arrangement eight months after coming to office following Mr. Yar'adua's death.

After watching all night as nearly 4,000 ballots were counted in Abuja's Eagle Square, Mr. Jonathan accepted the nomination just past dawn, calling for unity and paying tribute to party challengers Sarah Jibril and Atiku Abubakar, who he says fought gallantly.

"I want to welcome Mrs. Jibril and his excellency Alhaji Abubakar on board so that together we can build a Nigeria of our collective interest, a Nigeria where ideas guide our dreams for a greater nation," he said. "This is a time for the party to move forward in unity to bring this country under the PDP banner."

Former vice president Abubakar was Mr. Jonathan's biggest challenger as the consensus candidate of northern leaders who opposed breaking the regional power-sharing deal.

In his appeal to delegates before their vote, Mr. Abubakar said Mr. Jonathan's disregard for party agreements shows he can not be trusted.

"That is not the kind of person with whom you would entrust the fate of this country. Our word must be our bond. But my main opponent believes in doing things simply because it is convenient," Abubakar said. "He does not seem to care if the country is thrown into chaos and anarchy as long as he remains in power. This is dangerous."

Exaggeration is always part of politics. But Mr. Abubakar's savaging of the incumbent president appeared especially personal and shows the difficulty Mr. Jonathan may have in drawing northern support in the general election. Mr. Abubakar said the country is more divided now than it was when Mr. Jonathan came to office last year.

"We cannot afford to continue to tolerate this level of incompetence and indifference. In critical situations there seems to be no one in charge," he said.

Mr. Jonathan chose not to respond to Mr. Abubakar's attack and did not directly mention the power-sharing agreement, focusing instead on a platform of improving security and the economy while fighting corruption.

"This is more than a set of policies or new ideas. It is about all Nigerians joining hands to turn the page," he said. "Together all party members, activists, and people of Nigeria can work to win the forthcoming elections at all levels. I thank you, and God bless us all. PDP! PDP!"

The ruling party has won the last three presidential elections, so Mr. Jonathan is now the frontrunner for April's vote. He faces challenges from experienced politicians in several smaller parties and could see Mr. Abubakar again in the general election if the former vice president chooses to run as the nominee of a different party.

You May Like

Reports of Mass Murder on Mediterranean Smuggler’s Boat

Boat sailed from Libya with 750 migrants aboard and arrived in Italy with 569 More

Video New Thailand Hotline Targets Misbehaving Monks

Officials say move aims to restore country’s image of Buddhism, tarnished by recent high profile scandals such as opulent lifestyle, drug and alcohol abuse, as well as child sex abuse More

Study: Dust from Sahara Helped Form Bahama Islands

What does the Sahara have in common with a Caribbean island? Quite a lot, researchers say 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.
Astronauts Train in Underwater Labi
X
George Putic
July 25, 2014 7:25 PM
In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid