News / Africa

Nigeria's Ruling Party Divided Over Political Reforms

Nigeria's new president is expected to nominate a new vice president this week. His choice will come from a ruling party that is divided over political reform ahead of next year's elections.

As a president from southern Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan is expected to name a northern vice president to preserve regional balance. But the ruling People's Democratic Party is divided over changing the way it nominates candidates.

So President Jonathan's choice for a deputy will also be seen, in part, as a reflection of whether he backs reformers, who want to make the nomination process more transparent, or whether he is supporting party leaders who want to preserve the political power of state governors.

Those leaders have suspended members of the PDP's so-called reform forum for ridiculing the party. Chairman Vincent Ogbulafor says reformers are disregarding lawful party directives.

"There are people within the PDP who do not believe that there should be any reform. Smart Adeyemi, ruling party Senator from Kogi State said. "Even when they know that the system is corrupt-ridden. Even when they know that there are so many things that are faulty. There are people in the PDP who will not want reform because to create a platform for a free and fair election is to deny them their selfish gains in the flawed system. And they are powerful people."

Former Minister of State for Justice Musa Elayo Abdullahi is a member of the PDP's reform forum. He says party leaders have too much influence over the selection of candidates.

"The delegates that are being made to elect the governors and the president are heavily tilted  towards the people who are occupying the office of governors currently," Abdullahi said. "Therefore, if you are standing for election as a member of the house of assembly of a state or the house of representatives or the senate, the governor decides whether you can win that primary or not."

President Jonathan says party divisions could hurt PDP chances in next year's vote. "If we all don't work together, then of course we can not win elections mostly," Mr. Jonathan said.

Meeting with Mr. Jonathan after he was sworn in as president, party chairman Ogbulafor said the PDP is counting on his leadership to resolve party problems following last week's death of President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua.

"We ask you to take care of all of us here. Take care of the party and the problems. Take care of Nigerians. And what the former president started, make sure that things move smoothly so that when we go out to campaign for the next election we will have something on hand to present to the general public," Ogbulafor said.

The PDP is the undisputed king of Nigerian politics with three-quarters of state governorships and majorities in both houses of parliament. There is simply no other party that is in a position to take big advantage of its divisions.

So former Minister of State for Justice Abdullahi says it is up to the PDP to set an example for other politicians. "The other political parties that should be strong enough to give PDP some kind of a run for its money are non-existent. What is happening in PDP also happens in all the other political parties. And that is why we believe that if PDP can do it right, the other parties will pick up from there," he said.

President Jonathan believes the party will come together in time for next year's vote. "There are people who believe that PDP will split into fragments. But no matter we disagree, at the end of the day, PDP will come on stronger," Mr. Jonathan said.

Local government, legislative, and presidential elections are due by next April but could come sooner depending on electoral reforms currently being debated by parliament.

You May Like

Video Experts Warn World Losing Ebola Fight

Doctors Without Borders says world is losing battle against Ebola, unless wealthy nations dispatch specialized biological disaster response teams More

Video Experts: Rise of Islamic State Significant Development in Jihadism

Many analysts contend the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years More

US-Based Hong Kongers Pledge Support for Pro-Democracy Activists

Democracy advocates call on Chinese living abroad to join them in opposing new election rules for their home territory 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.
Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearancei
X
Elizabeth Lee
September 02, 2014 8:57 PM
Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearance

Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Experts See Rise of ISIS as Significant Development

The Islamic State’s rise seems sudden. It caught the U.S. by surprise this summer when it captured large portions of northern Iraq and spread its wings in neighboring Syria. But many analysts contend that the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years. VOA's Jela de Franceschi takes a closer look at the rise of ISIS and its implications for the Middle East and beyond.
Video

Video Israel Concerned Over Syrian Rebels in Golan

Israeli officials are following with concern the recent fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces near the contested Golan Heights. Forty-four U.N. peacekeepers from Fiji have been seized by Syrian Islamist rebels and the clashes occasionally have spilled into Israel. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.

AppleAndroid