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

    Syrian Rebel Realignment Likely as al-Qaida Leader Blesses Split

    Jihadist group Jabhat al-Nusra splits from al-Qaida in what observers dub a ‘deception and denial’ exercise

    New India Child Labor Law Could Make Children More Vulnerable

    Concerns that allowing children to work in family enterprises will push more to work

    What Take-out Food Reveals About American History

    Carry-out food explains a lot about the changes taking place in society, so here's the deal with pizza, Chinese food and what racism has to do with taking food to go

    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

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Busi
    X
    July 28, 2016 4:16 AM
    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Philadelphia Uses DNC Spotlight to Profile Historic Role in Founding of United States

    The slogan of the Democratic National Convention now underway in Philadelphia is “Let’s Make History Again” which recognizes the role the city played in the foundation of the United States in the 18th century. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, local institutions are opening their doors in an effort to capitalize on the convention spotlight to draw visitors, and to offer more than just a history lesson.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora