News / Africa

Nigerian Voter Registration Closes, Campaigning Begins

A Nigerian security man sits under a campaign poster of Nigeria President Goodluck Jonathan, with US President Barrack Obama, in Abuja, Nigeria, January 12, 2011
A Nigerian security man sits under a campaign poster of Nigeria President Goodluck Jonathan, with US President Barrack Obama, in Abuja, Nigeria, January 12, 2011

Campaigning is underway in Nigeria for April's nationwide vote after electoral officials wrapped up a month-long voter registration program.

Nigeria's voter registration got off to a slow start with many electoral commission workers struggling to link computers, printers, digital cameras and fingerprint scanners to produce voter identification cards on site.

Long lines of prospective voters criticized electoral commission preparations, especially as the entire exercise had already been postponed from last year. So the electoral commission extended voter registration by two weeks and sent out technicians to help solve computer problems at more than 120,000 registration centers.

After a poor beginning, voter Philip Omokpoma gives the electoral commission a passing mark of 70 percent.

"Most of them did not know about the machine until they were able to go around and bring in some technicians to assist them," said Omokpoma. "After that, they were able to cope, and the number of persons they registered became increased."

Voter Nora Kamene said the registration was a success and should lead to good elections. "From the outcome, the turnout, it was very encouraging. And I think the election will be OK. From the turnout, the election will be free and it will be fair, by God's grace," said Kamene.

Voter Ovie Omowakpoma said registration should have been extended another two weeks because he said many people in Delta State have not registered.

"If they stand by what they are doing now, then there is no credible election," said Omowakpoma. "These machines should be kept in local government areas at least for another two good weeks to see those who have not been registered."

The electoral commission did add another 48 hours at the end of the process to cope with last-minute registrations. Wrapping up the exercise, the Independent National Electoral Commission thanked Nigerians for their patience.

Lagos State Electoral Commissioner Adekunle Ladipo said the voter rolls will be the  foundation of a strong vote in April. "I just want to assure Nigerians that INEC has set out on a good note and we intend to conclude on a very successful note, and that is giving Nigerians free, fair and credible elections, come April this year."

More than 70 million Nigerians were eligible to register for April's presidential, legislative and gubernatorial elections.

Campaigning is now underway. President Goodluck Jonathan launched his campaign in Nigeria's "Middle Belt" between the mostly-Christian south and predominantly-Muslim north. His candidacy disrupts an informal regional power-sharing deal that would have given the ruling-party nomination to a northern candidate.

This means Jonathan needs to do well in central states to offset what could be opposition from some northern voters. The president's three main challengers are all from the north, which could split the vote there. Political observers say the opposition's best chance of defeating the ruling party is forcing the vote to a second round where President Jonathan would face a single opponent, likely from the north.





You May Like

Jihadist Assassin says Goal of Tunisia Murders Was Chaos

Abu Muqatil at-Tunusi’s remarks in a propaganda interview also cast light on attack on Bardo Museum More

Russia Denies License to Tatar-Language TV Station in Crimea

OSCE official says denial shows 'politically selective censorship of free and independent voices in Crimea is continuing' More

Kenyan Startups Tackle Expensive Remittances Through Bitcoin

Some think services could give Western Union a run for its money, though others say it’s still got a long way to go 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.
For Obama, It's More Business Than Friendships With World Leadersi
X
Aru Pande
April 01, 2015 9:09 PM
The rift between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has put a spotlight on the importance of the American leader’s personal relationships with other world leaders and what role such friendships play in foreign policy. VOA's Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video For Obama, It's More Business Than Friendships With World Leaders

The rift between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has put a spotlight on the importance of the American leader’s personal relationships with other world leaders and what role such friendships play in foreign policy. VOA's Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Buhari: Nigeria Has ‘Embraced Democracy’

Nigeria woke up to a new president-elect Wednesday, Muhammadu Buhari. But people say democracy is the real winner as the country embarks on its first peaceful handover of power since the end of military rule in 1999. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Abuja.
Video

Video Tiny Camera Sees Inside Blood Vessels

Ahead of any surgical procedure, doctors try to learn as much as possible about the state of the organs they plan to operate on. A new camera developed in the Netherlands can now make that easier - giving surgeons an incredibly detailed look inside blood vessels, all the way to the patient’s heart. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Latin American Groups Seek Fans at Texas Music Festival

Latin American music groups played all over Austin, Texas, during the recent South by Southwest festival, and some made fans out of locals as well as people from around the world who had come to hear music. Such exposure can boost such groups' image back home. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Stockton Community, Police, Work to Improve Relations

Relations are tense between minority communities and police departments around the United States following police shootings that have generated widely-publicized protests. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Stockton, California, where police and community groups are working toward solutions, with backing from Washington.
Video

Video Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedom

Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Report: State of Black America a 'Tale of Two Nations'

The National Urban League has described this year's "State of Black America" report as a "tale of two nations." The group's annual report, released earlier this month (March), found that under an equality index African Americans had only 72% parity compared to whites in areas such as education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement. It’s a gap that educators and students at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College are looking to close. VOA's Daniela Schrier reports from the school.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials Underway in West Africa

Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in West Africa. Since last summer, researchers have rushed to get anti-Ebola vaccines into clinical trials. While it's too early to say that any of the potential vaccines work, some scientists say they are seeing strong results from some of the studies. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More