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

Scotland Vote Raises Questions of International Law

Experts say self-determination, as defined and protected by international law, confined narrowly to independence movements in process of de-colonization More

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

Conservationists hail ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015 More

Annual Military Exercise Takes on New Meaning for Ukraine Troops

Troops from 15 nations participating in annual event, 'Rapid Trident' in western Ukraine 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.
Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctionsi
X
September 18, 2014 2:28 AM
A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid