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

Republican Majority in Congress Off to Rough Start

Standoff over Homeland Security funding exposes philosophical, tactical problems within party More

Pakistan Blocks Baloch Activist from US Trip

Human Rights Commission of Pakistan slams Islamabad officials for stopping people from leaving country to attend human rights conference More

Video Muslims Long Thrived in North Carolina Before Students Killed

Idyll shattered February 10, when three Muslim university students living in Chapel Hill were gunned down by a neighbor 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.
Muslims Long Thrived in N Carolina Before Slaying of 3 Studentsi
X
Jerome Socolovsky
March 05, 2015 9:04 PM
The killings of three Muslim students in North Carolina early last month came as Muslims across the United States have felt under siege, partly as a result of terrorist attacks being committed internationally in the name of their faith. But Muslims have long thrived in university cities in this part of the American South. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Muslims Long Thrived in N Carolina Before Slaying of 3 Students

The killings of three Muslim students in North Carolina early last month came as Muslims across the United States have felt under siege, partly as a result of terrorist attacks being committed internationally in the name of their faith. But Muslims have long thrived in university cities in this part of the American South. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Fuel Shortages in Nigeria Threaten Election Campaigns

Nigeria is suffering a gas shortage as the falling oil price has affected the country’s ability to import and distribute refined fuels. Coming just weeks before scheduled March 28 elections, the shortage could have a big impact on the campaign, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA.
Video

Video Report: Human Rights in Annexed Crimea Deteriorating

A new report by Freedom House and the Atlantic Council of the United States says the human rights situation in Crimea has deteriorated since the peninsula was annexed by Russia in March of last year. The report says the new authorities in Crimea are discriminating against minorities, suppressing freedom of expression, and forcing residents to assume Russian citizenship or leave. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video 50 Years Later African-Americans See New Voting Rights Battles Ahead

Thousands of people will gather to mark the 50th anniversary of a historic civil rights march on March 7th in Selma, Alabama. In 1965, dozens of people were seriously injured during the event known as “Bloody Sunday,” after police attacked African-American demonstrators demanding voting rights. VOA’s Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights pioneers who are still fighting for voting rights in Alabama more than 50 years later.
Video

Video Craft Brewers Taking Hold in US Beer Market

Since the 1950’s, the U.S. beer industry has been dominated by a handful of huge breweries. But in recent years, the rapid rise of small craft breweries has changed the American market and, arguably, the way people drink beer. VOA’s Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.
Video

Video Volunteer Gauge-Watchers Help Fine-Tune Weather Science

An observation system called CoCoRaHS is working to improve weather science, thanks to thousands of volunteers across the country who measure precipitation in their own backyards, then share their data through the Internet. VOA's Shelley Schlender reports.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.

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