News / Africa

Rebel Governors Leave Nigerian Ruling Party

TEXT SIZE - +
Reuters
— Rebel governors who defected from Nigeria's ruling party merged their splinter group with the main opposition party on Tuesday, eroding the power base President Goodluck Jonathan would need for re-election.

Governors are among the most powerful figures in Africa's largest oil-exporting country - some control budgets bigger than those of many African states - and their influence carries a great deal of weight in selecting presidential candidates.

Seven governors from Jonathan's party have defected, the most explicit internal threat to his assumed plan to run in elections in early 2015. However, some were due to leave office or represented states that Jonathan was unlikely to win, leading analysts to question how much effect they could have.

The seven governors and ex-presidential hopeful Atiku Abubakar formed the splinter group opposed to Jonathan in August. All were present for the meeting where the decision was made to merge with the opposition party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), said Lai Mohammed, a spokesman for the APC.

But a spokesman for one of the seven, Governor Mu'azu Babangida Aliyu of Niger State, said that “he remains a member” of the People's Democratic Party, Jonathan's party, so at least one governor in the splinter group did not back the move. Official sources close to another governor said the agreement was not yet a done deal, so another may also remain.

“After exhaustive deliberations, the two parties agreed to merge in order to rescue our fledgling democracy and the nation,” said a joint statement, read out by Kawu Baraje, chairman of the splinter group, who is not himself a governor.

'Outside there is nothing'

“The Presidency does not feel threatened, the PDP does not feel threatened,” Amed Gulak, special advisor to Jonathan on political affairs, told journalists at the state house. “Outside there is nothing. The PDP is the only party,” he said, adding the governors still had a chance to be welcomed back.

The PDP has been in power since shortly after the end of military rule in 1998, but it has increasingly been riven by internal squabbles.

Many northerners say Jonathan's running again would violate an unwritten PDP rule that power should rotate between the largely Muslim north and mostly Christian south every two terms.

The president has also made powerful enemies elsewhere, including the governor of Rivers state, Rotimi Amaechi, who is from Jonathan's own oil producing Niger Delta region but defected nonetheless.

“They have come to join the APC. The governors have all agreed. We believe they are all on board,” Mohammed said.

Amaechi told Reuters by SMS text message that the splinter group had joined the APC and Baba Dantye, a spokesman for Kano state governor Rabi'u Musa Kwankwaso, also confirmed the move.

“It is a blow to the PDP in terms of prestige, but most of the departing governors were from states where the president polled badly in 2011 and would not have been expected to win,” said Antony Goldman, head of Africa-focused PM Consulting.

With most of the defecting governors due to leave office in 2015, it is unclear how much help they can give the APC, Goldman said.

The more hotly contested the race, the more likely it is to turn violent, as it has in the past, analysts say.

It is also likely to hurt state finances, as the demands of patronage needed to fight the election grow.

You May Like

Analysts Warn of Regional Proxy Conflict in Afghanistan

Analysts warn if Kabul’s neighbors do not start to cooperate, competing desires for influence could deteriorate into a bloody proxy war in the country More

Saudi Intelligence Chief Replaced

Bandar bin Sultan came under criticism for supporting al Qaida, prompting King Abdallah to wrest Syria operations away from him in February, handing them to Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef More

Poetry Magazine editor Don Share talks what makes a good poem with VOA's David Byrd

What makes a good poem? And is poetry as viable an art form as it once was? To find out, VOA's David Byrd spoke to Don Share, the editor of Poetry Magazine. More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Robert Osa Sylvester from: Benin City
November 30, 2013 10:32 AM
APC IS NOT MERGE AS A MISTAKE, NIGERIAN'S WANT CHANGE IN PULIC OFFICER. LIKE MY SELF I BELIVED THIS WILL BRING CHANGE TO NIGERIA AS A NATION.

WISE MOVE,WISE DECISION, WELCOME ON BOARD MY FIVE NOBLE GOVERNOR.


by: Adebayo nureni from: Ikire,state of osun
November 26, 2013 4:50 PM
A very good and wisely step, that mean Nigeria is getting ready to free from the bondage of the monopoly party. That took there decision for their enrichements only. Kudos to the facilitators, more grease to their elbow.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid