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

Could Nemtsov Threaten Putin in Death as in Life?

Dynamic and debonair opposition leader had supported liberal economic reforms, criticized Russian president's aggression in Ukraine More

Oil Smuggling Highlights Challenges in Shutting Down IS Finances

Pentagon spokesman says Islamic State 'certainly continues to get revenue from the oil industry black market' but that airstrikes have made a dent More

India Focuses on Infrastructure, Investment to Propel Economy

Government expects economy to grow at 8 to 8.5 percent in next fiscal year 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.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

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