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

Could Nemtsov Threaten Putin in Death as in Life?

Dynamic and debonair opposition leader had supported liberal economic reforms, criticized Russian president's aggression in Ukraine More

Oil Smuggling Highlights Challenges in Shutting Down IS Finances

Pentagon spokesman says Islamic State 'certainly continues to get revenue from the oil industry black market' but that airstrikes have made a dent More

India Focuses on Infrastructure, Investment to Propel Economy

Government expects economy to grow at 8 to 8.5 percent in next fiscal year 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.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More