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

Could Nemtsov Threaten Putin in Death as in Life?

Dynamic and debonair opposition leader had supported liberal economic reforms, criticized Russian president's aggression in Ukraine More

Oil Smuggling Highlights Challenges in Shutting Down IS Finances

Pentagon spokesman says Islamic State 'certainly continues to get revenue from the oil industry black market' but that airstrikes have made a dent More

India Focuses on Infrastructure, Investment to Propel Economy

Government expects economy to grow at 8 to 8.5 percent in next fiscal year 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.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

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