News / Africa

Nigeria's Ruling Party Takes State in Closely Watched Vote

Reuters
— Nigeria's ruling party toppled the main opposition candidate in a state governorship vote this weekend, officials said, giving President Goodluck Jonathan a boost ahead of national polls next year.

Ayodele Fayose of The People's Democratic Party's (PDP) took almost 60 percent of the vote in southwestern Ekiti state, unseating the opposition incumbent Kayode Fayemi, the electoral commission announced on Sunday.

Governors are among the most powerful figures in Africa's largest economy and oil producer. Some control budgets bigger than those of many African countries and play a significant role in selecting presidential candidates.

The victory in Ekiti - where organizers said voting was fair and peaceful - was a rare piece of good news for a ruling party that is likely to see its sternest test yet in the 2015 national election.

Jonathan has been beleaguered by defections of senior figures and criticism for his government's failure to quell Islamist group Boko Haram, which abducted more than 200 schoolgirls from a remote northeastern village in April.

The main opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) was created out of four regional parties last year - presenting a nationwide challenge to the ruling party.

Fayemi took office in late 2010 after a court annulled the result of 2007 polls that were marred by intimidation, vote-rigging and ballot-stuffing.

Security was heavy during this year's polls, and the electoral commission declared the election "free, fair, credible and transparent".

The United States would be watching the vote with "great interest," Washington's ambassador to Nigeria, James Entwistle, said ahead of the polls, adding a free and peaceful election would help demonstrate the credibility of the electoral system.

More than 800 people were killed and 65,000 displaced in three days of violence following the 2011 presidential election, Human Rights Watch has said.

Rioting erupted mainly in the mostly Muslim north after Jonathan, a Christian from the south, won the vote.

You May Like

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Chocolate Too Bitter? Swap Sugar for Mushrooms

US food technology company develops fermentation process using mushrooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans, believes it will cut sugar content in candy More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israeli
X
Carolyn Presutti
July 23, 2014 1:21 AM
The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israel

The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video NASA Focuses on Earth-Like Planets

For decades, looking for life elsewhere in the universe meant listening for signals that could be from distant civilizations. But recent breakthroughs in space technology refocused some of that effort toward finding planets that may harbor life, even in its primitive form. VOA’s George Putic reports on a recent panel discussion at NASA’s headquarters, in Washington.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.

AppleAndroid