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

ASEAN Ministers Set to Push for South China Sea Agreements

According to documents obtained by VOA Khmer, ministers will stand up for 'freedom of navigation, unimpeded lawful maritime commerce, trade and over flight' More

Puerto Rico Defaults on $58M Debt Payment

Payment was due Saturday, default is first in country's 117 years as a United States possession More

Turkish Public Fears Jihadists More Than Kurds

Turkey facing twin threats of terrorism by Islamic State and PKK Kurdish separatists, says President Erdogan’s ruling AK Party 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.
Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Communityi
X
Sharon Behn
August 03, 2015 2:23 PM
A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Community

A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Bangkok Warned It Soon Could Be Submerged

Italy's Venice and America's New Orleans are not the only cities gradually submerging. The nearly ten million residents of the Bangkok urban area now must confront warnings the city could become uninhabitable in a few decades. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Thai capital.
Video

Video Inclusive Gym Gets People With Disabilities in Fitness Spirit

Individuals with special needs are 58 percent more likely to be obese than the general population. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, they also have an increased likelihood of anxiety, depression and social isolation. But a sports club outside Washington wants to make a difference in these people's lives. With Carol Pearson narrating, VOA's June Soh reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Special Olympics Show Competitors' Skill, Determination

Special Olympics competitions will wrap up Saturday in Los Angeles, and the closing ceremony for athletes with intellectual disabilities will be held Sunday night. In a week of competition, athletes have shown what they can do through skill and determination. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Shooter’s Grill: Serving Food with a Touch of the Second Amendment

Shooter's Grill, a restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, attracts visitors from all over the world as well as local patrons. The reason? Waitresses openly carry loaded firearms as they serve food, and customers are welcome to carry them, too. VOA's Enming Liu and Lin Yang paid a visit to Shooter's Grill, and heard different opinions about this unique establishment.
Video

Video Despite Controversy, Business Owner Continues Sale of Confederate Flags

At Cooter’s, a store in rural Sperryville, Virginia, about 120 kilometers west of Washington, D.C., Confederate flags are flying off the shelves. The red, white and blue battle flag, with 13 white stars representing the Confederate states, was carried by southern forces during the U.S. Civil War in the 1860s. The South had seceded from the Union over several key issues of disagreement, including slavery. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs