News / Africa

Nigerian Ruling-Party Delegates Gather to Choose Presidential Nominee

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan speaks during a press conference, 7 Dec 2010
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan speaks during a press conference, 7 Dec 2010

Multimedia

Audio

Delegates from Nigeria's ruling party are gathering in the capital for a convention to choose their presidential nominee.  Politicians will decide the fate of regional power-sharing in Nigeria.

Nigeria's ruling party has won the last three presidential elections.  So this nominee will clearly be the frontrunner in April's vote.   But party delegates in Abuja are also deciding the future of an informal power-sharing deal that rotates the presidency between Nigeria's mainly Muslim north and its predominantly Christian south.

If delegates choose former vice president Atiku Abubakar, they will be sticking to an agreement that gives northern Nigerians another four years in office following the death of President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua.

If delegates choose current president Goodluck Jonathan, they will be breaking with that plan in favor of a southern leader who took office amidst the political uncertainty surrounding Mr. Yar'Adua's death.

Professor Sylvester Monye is the executive secretary of Nigeria's National Planning Commission.  He says President Jonathan has clearly demonstrated his ability to revive the country's economy, moving so decisively that Monye says it is sometimes difficult for people to understand how much he has done so quickly.

"You wouldn't believe that, for the first time in about 12 years in Nigeria, we have had a Christmas and New Year come and gone without any single queue in any petrol station," said Monye.  "For the first time in over ten years, we have all our refineries working.  For the first time in 28 years, we now have a national medium-term plan which means that we are now planning and executing plans based on some framework unlike before, when we were doing things like we were groping in the dark."

This is expected to be a close contest between Mr. Jonathan and Mr. Abubakar. Mr. Jonathan has the advantage of incumbency.  Mr. Abubakar has the advantage of standing as the consensus candidate of Nigeria's powerful northern political class.

University of Abuja political science professor Kabiru Mato says the strength of northern support for abiding by the regional power-sharing agreement may be just enough to tip the contest in Mr. Abubakar's favor.

"That’s one of the factors really that, in my view, will sway quite a lot of northern votes to vice president Atiku Abubakar because, truly, the question of rotation and zoning of political offices, especially the presidency, is an integral part of the PDP constitution," noted Mato.  "So if that is the issue, then there is a great deal of sympathy that likely will benefit the former vice president, especially from the conservative voting force that will be delegates in the party primary."

The opposition Action Congress of Nigeria party has scheduled its primary to follow Thursday's People's Democratic Party contest.  The Action party says the loser of the ruling-party primary is welcome to run for its nomination.

You May Like

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years 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.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs