Politics | Society
Nigeria presidential campaign kicks off
President Jonathan is the president that should not have been. The southerner was never elected to more than Vice-President, coming to power after President Umaru Yar'Adua died in May last year.
Today is the day when President Jonathan for the first time meets Nigerian voters with his political programme for the presidency. The official kick-off of his electoral campaign is in the central Nigerian city of Lafia, the capital of Nasarawa state and close to Abuja.
There, it has been indicated, President Jonathan will emphasise on economic development and peace and security issues, assuring that the PDP would be the best ticket to create stability. The security question is pressing, as central Nigeria has seen a growth in ethnic and religious violence.
President Jonathan today is the first to start campaigning for the 9 April presidential elections. He will meet many opposing candidates, but there are three northerners crystallising as the President's main challengers.
Mallam Nuhu Ribadu is the candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), and he is widely popular in Nigeria for his tough efforts to fight corruption during his former leadership of the country's Economic and Financial Crimes Commission. But Nr Ribadu is also said to lack political experience and is therefore treated as an outsider.
Another major contester is Muhammadu Buharu, a former military ruler standing ca
The candidate believed to become Mr Jonathan's main challenge is Malam Ibrahim Shekarau, a former governor of Kano state, representing the old All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP). Twenty minor opposition parties have rallied behind Mr Shekarau's bid for the presidency.
Analysts see President Jonathan as the clear favourite in the April poll, having in mind that an incumbent President never has lost an election in Nigeria. The north-south controversy about Mr Jonathan's presidential bid however could affect this analysis, as many northerner followers of the ruling PDP could be disloyal to the candidate that should not have been a candidate.
Also, there are signs that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) this year may be preparing fairer and freer elections than is so far has done. Voter registration seems to be more thorough this year, with the INEC on Saturday announcing it was extending its period of registration to make sure nobody was lost out.
The chairman of the electoral commission, Attahiru Jega, says the INEC is making extensive preparations to assure this year's elections are going neatly. But it will be up to the ruling party whether it will repeat the voter intimidation of 2007.
By staff writers
© afrol News
- Create an e-mail alert for Nigeria news
- Create an e-mail alert for Politics news
- Create an e-mail alert for Society news
On the Afrol News front page now