News / Africa

Nigerian Voters Debate: Jonathan or Babangida?

With presidential campaigning under way in Nigeria voters are debating the merits of the two frontrunners.

A president with four-months experience in office or a former coup leader who ran the country for eight years atop a military dictatorship?  Those are the two leading choices for Nigerian voters: President Goodluck Jonathan or retired General Ibrahim Babangida.

Publisher Adeyemi Adebanwo says President Jonathan has shown he is qualified to lead the country since coming to power in May, following the death of President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua.  But Adebanwo prefers Mr. Babangida's leadership.

"I like Goodluck Jonathan.  He is a fair man.  He is a honest man.  He is a humble man.  He is an easy going man.  The only reservation I have against him is he is a slow person. But Babangida is a man of action to an extent.  I think IBB is more of an action man," Adebanwo said.

Adebanwo says there is no denying the corruption of  Babangida's rule from 1985 to 1993.  But he believes the former general, known popularly by his initials IBB, accomplished many great things, including moving Nigeria's capital from Lagos to Abuja.

"It has always been the consensus that people are saying that it was during the time of IBB that corruption was much in the country.  But I believe he is man who has really built a lot of structures," Adebanwo states. "If you look at Abuja generally, most of the major structures - roads, bridges - most infrastructure you see in Abuja, he was the one who did it.  So I think he could be a better person."

Babangida supporter Folashode Onabanjo returned from Europe to help the former general's campaign.

"Everything to do with better Nigeria, IBB is there.  He stands for the betterment of Nigeria, to be good, to be a good country, to be a developed country that could talk to any other in the world and compete with any other in the whole world," Onabanjo said.

Attorney Anna Irabor says she finds it hard to believe that anyone who lived under Babangida's rule would vote to put him back in power.

"If you ask me, I can only remember the times that we suffered," Irabor says, "Because of that, I do not really think he should come back.  I do not think he should come back.  Let him step aside.  I know he has some good parts in his regime, and those good parts, let him use it to advise those who are already showing their interest to come for the presidency."

Irabor says her choice is President Jonathan. "I am just looking at Jonathan as a person and as a Nigerian and as somebody who I really have great regard and respect for because of the short time he has been with us, the way he has ruled us and the way he has handled situations, that is the reason why I am saying that I prefer him," she said.

President Jonathan's bid upsets an informal power sharing agreement in the ruling party that rotates power between north and south every eight years.  Under that plan, the next Nigerian president should be from the north to finish out President Yar'Adua's term, instead of continuing with President Jonathan, who is from the south.

Ovie Joseph is a ruling party official from the southern Delta State.  He supports the president politically, but wonders how northerners will respond to his breaking the power-sharing deal. "The only thing that is bad in it if for himself indicating interest, forgetting the mutual understanding is not a good one," he says, "the gentlemen's understanding has to hold.  And that one makes you a good man."

Joseph says it is time of politically uncertainty between the mainly Muslim north and the predominantly Christian south. "As it is going now, the Christians are not sleeping.  And I know that the Muslims are not sleeping.  They are praying for the welfare of the country.  And I know by the special grace of God we will survive it," he said.

Ruling party primaries begin October 18.  Nigeria's electoral commission says it needs more time to register voters for the election itself and is looking to postpone presidential polls currently scheduled for January.

You May Like

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology 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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
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.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

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