News / Africa

Problems with Vote for Governor in Nigeria's Anambra State

A woman casts her vote in a ballot box n empty ballot box at Agulu in Anambra State on February 6, 2010. Glitches marred voting for a new governor Saturday in Nigeria's turbulent Anambra state, seen as a litmus test of whether Africa's largest democracy c
A woman casts her vote in a ballot box n empty ballot box at Agulu in Anambra State on February 6, 2010. Glitches marred voting for a new governor Saturday in Nigeria's turbulent Anambra state, seen as a litmus test of whether Africa's largest democracy c

Voters in Nigeria's Anambra state went to the polls Saturday to choose a new governor in an election seen as crucial to prospects for next year's presidential contest. Nigeria's state governors say the country's vice president should be made acting leader because the president has been on medical leave for more than ten weeks.

More than 23,000 security forces were deployed in Anambra state to ensure a peaceful vote. But there were still problems as some polling stations opened three hours late and many voters said they were blocked from casting their ballots because they were not on the electoral roles.

Anambra's incumbent governor Peter Obi is facing four major challengers, including parliamentarian Uche Ekwunife who told reporters that Saturday's vote was not free, was not credible, and was not transparent. But she stopped short of  calling for the results to be annulled. "As the day goes by, let's see what happens. But for now, things are not really the way they should be. I just hope that it improves," she said.

This is the first in a cycle of state and federal votes that are meant to lead up to presidential elections in April 2011. So polling in Anambra is being watched closely amid Nigeria's mounting constitutional crisis over the absence of President Umaru Yar'Adua.

He has not been seen since late November when he left for medical treatment in Saudi Arabia. While his ruling party has said for weeks that he is expected back soon, there is growing pressure on lawmakers to officially name Vice President Goodluck Jonathan acting president.

Nigeria's powerful state governors have joined the countrys' bar association and former heads of state in calling for such a move. The Nigerian Governors' Forum says recognizing Vice President Jonathan as acting president would be "in the interest of the nation."

The president's prolonged absence one year before the next general election has  brought forward speculation about who might succeed him. The absence of the president is affecting what is meant to be a rotating presidency to ease political friction between Northern and Southern Nigeria.

President Yar'Adua is from the north. Vice President Jonathan is from the south.

Concerns about a potential power vacuum here in Abuja rose following last month's religious and ethnic violence in the city of Jos. That has brought even closer attention to the outcome of the Anambra vote as that state saw post-electoral violence in 2007.

National Electoral Commission Spokesman Philip Umeadi says Nigeria must get the vote in Anambra right because he says the outcome will "to a great extent determine the outcome of the 2011 general election."

Former Commonwealth Secretary General Emeka Anyaouku says the Anambra vote will shape the direction elections take next year as he says the country is at a crossroads where its affairs are not as bright as they should be.

You May Like

Bleak China Economic Outlook Rattles Markets

Several key European stock indexes were down up to three percent, while US market indexes were off around 2.5 percent in afternoon trading More

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations 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.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs