News / Africa

Nigeria Opposition Party Courts Voters

FILE - Members of All Progressives Congress party waves brooms the symbol of the party as former military ruler and Presidential aspirant Muhammadu Buhari, delivered a speech during the party convention in Lagos, Nigeria, April. 18, 2013.
FILE - Members of All Progressives Congress party waves brooms the symbol of the party as former military ruler and Presidential aspirant Muhammadu Buhari, delivered a speech during the party convention in Lagos, Nigeria, April. 18, 2013.
Heather Murdock
Nigeria’s new mega-opposition party, the All Progressive Congress, has won over many prominent leaders in the past few months, and now it is courting the public. With a nationwide registration drive underway, threats, name-calling and allegations of fraud already characterize Nigeria’s 2015 presidential elections. 

The All Progressive Congress, or APC, was formed a year ago, when several of Nigeria’s opposition parties merged. 

Since then, many prominent leaders, including five state governors and 37 members of the House of Representatives, have abandoned the ruling People’s Democratic Party, or PDP.

Analysts said if the APC could agree on a leader, 2015 could be the first truly contested election in Nigerian history.
 
And now, the APC wants voters. But at APC office in the Niger Delta, about 50 people wait to sign up.  They said they have been there for hours but no materials have arrived.  They accused the PDP of infiltrating their party to sabotage their operations.

“You know they are looking for any means to destabilize registration - to destabilize the party.  But it will not work.  It will not work,” Godspower Okaredhe, a local APC leader.

Other registration centers have accused the ruling party of threats and violence.  Ruling party leaders denies these allegations, saying it is not their fault if some people “shun” the new opposition.

Antuyede Oyede, the editor of a local newspaper, the Isoko Sun, said the ugliness was just beginning.

“It’s first an advert attacking the PDP as the corrupt party.  It’s because corruption is overwhelming.  It’s overwhelming,” said Oyede.

And he said the APC was already being accused of being an Islamic party.  The accusation is meant to play into tensions between the mostly-Muslim north and the mostly-Christian south.

Northerners said if President Goodluck Jonathan contested in 2015, he would be violating a power-sharing agreement that says presidents from the two regions must rotate power after two terms in office.  Jonathan has served one term, but took office a year before he was elected when the former president, a northerner, died. 

Prominent northerners and southerners have warned that the country will be “ungovernable” if the other region wins.

But Simeon Efenudu, a local ruling party leader in Delta state, said, despite the threats and the divisions, Nigeria would not fall apart in 2015.

“Many people thought that by now Nigeria would have disintegrated.  But up 'til now it’s still one country.  No person really wants Nigeria to be disintegrated because they [North and South] need each other,” said Efenudu.

Oyede, the editor, said north-south tensions were not what leads to wide-scale violence.

“What leads to violence is when the people have exercised their franchise and they see the decision has been trampled upon.  When the result of something does not reflect the voting people will now react,” he said.

After the 2011 elections, more than 800 people were killed in clashes.  Last November, Nigeria’s electoral commission’s competency was widely questioned after it failed to produce any results at all in a race for state governor. 

(Hilary Uguru contributed to this report from the Niger Delta.)

You May Like

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: DONVICO from: IMO STATE
February 08, 2014 3:29 PM
Let me use this time to tell my Nigeria brothers and sisters,. It it not a mistake to make a mistake but it is a great mistake to repeat a mistake we are in computer age now and our Nigeria is dying lets go to the light party to vote don't look for money but look for a better Nigeria don't let PDP people convicd u A.PC is God's loving party and is our 2015 president. Joenathain is nothing but a mistake to Nigeria.

by: olaitan taiwo dairo from: lagos ikeja
February 08, 2014 2:39 PM
nice move frm APC.........I strongly blv will deliver in 2015

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs