News / Africa

Reports Positive from Nigerian Presidential Vote

Nigeria President Goodluck Jonathan (file photo)
Nigeria President Goodluck Jonathan (file photo)

Initial reports indicate the voting has gone well in Nigeria's presidential poll, in contrast to a number of previous contests marred by violence and fraud.

Observers said voters turned out in large numbers Saturday to elect incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan to his first full term or one of two main challengers.  Mr. Jonathan assumed the presidency last year following the death of his predecessor, President Umaru Yar'Adua.  

Security was tight at polling stations across the West African nation, Africa's most populous state.  And despite two explosions in the northeastern city Maiduguri early Saturday, observers said voting had mostly proceeded calmly and with few instances of cheating.

Counting was already underway Saturday evening in some precincts.

Mr. Jonathan told voters his country was experiencing a "new dawn" of political expression as he cast his ballot.  He pledged the vote would be free and fair and said he would not interfere with the outcome.

He is the clear frontrunner in the race and has promised to improve the economy, health and education in the oil-rich country.

He faces two main challengers who failed to form an alliance in a last-minute bid to force a run-off.

Jonathan's top rival is former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari, who has run for president and lost twice before.  As Buhari voted Saturday, he said he would not contest the results of this election, should he lose.

Nuhu Ribadu, a former anti-corruption chief, also is considered a contender for a possible second-round election.

Buhari has vowed to clean up corruption and invest in Nigeria's infrastructure, while Ribadu has said his top priority is lifting ordinary Nigerians from poverty.

Authorities have closed the borders during the vote.

Election officials say Nigeria was prepared for the presidential poll, after delays earlier this month due to logistical problems and a shortage of printed ballots for parliamentary races.

Partial results of last week's parliament vote indicate Mr. Jonathan's ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP) lost some ground, but will retain its majority.  Parliamentary voting went forward Saturday in election districts where voting could not take place last week, making up about 15 percent of all polling places.

International monitors described the conduct of last Saturday's election as "encouraging," in contrast to 2007 vote, which the European Union declared "not credible."

Nigeria is scheduled to hold state level elections on April 26.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

You May Like

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said To Be Improving

Experimental drugs have been tried on six people: three Westerners and now, three African pyhysicians More

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities residents rebuild their lives, but many say everyone is being treated with suspicion More

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

Girls learn to object; FGM practitioners face penalties from jail sentences to stiff fines 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.
Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improvingi
X
Carol Pearson
August 19, 2014 11:43 PM
The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.
Video

Video For Obama, Racial Violence is Personal Issue

The racial violence in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson is presenting U.S. President Barack Obama with an issue to which he has a deep personal connection. To many Americans, Obama's election as America's first black president marked a turning point in race relations in the United States, and Obama has made ending the violence a policy priority. On Monday he issued a new call for calm and understanding. Luis Ramirez reports from the White House.
Video

Video Clinton-Obama Relationship Could Impact 2016 Election

President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have a long and complicated relationship. That relationship took another turn recently when Clinton criticized the president’s foreign policy. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports there is renewed attention on the Clinton-Obama relationship as Hillary Clinton considers running for
Video

Video Iran Looks to Maintain Influence in Baghdad With New Shia PM

Washington and Tehran share the goal of stopping Syrian-based militants in Iraq. But experts say it's Iran, not the United States, that will most influence how the new government in Baghdad approaches internal reforms and the war in Syria. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.

AppleAndroid