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

UN Watchdog Urges Israel to Probe Possible Gaza War Crimes

More than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed in a 51-day war in Gaza, along with 67 Israeli soldiers and six civilians in Israel More

New Kenyan 'Thin SIMs' Poised to Transform African Mobile Money

Equity's new technology is approved in African nation for one-year trial, though industry leader Safaricom says thin SIMs could lead to data theft and fraud More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power 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.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid