Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Friday, August 02, 2013

Overcoming cleavages in Nigeria

Bridging the gaps between ethnic/religious/geographic groups in Nigeria has always been difficult. Let's see how this effort goes.

It's a new dawn for Nigeria, says new opposition party
Nigeria's newly-registered main opposition party, All Progressives Congress (APC), has described its emergence as the dawn of a new era for Africa's most populous nation…

The party said its emergence meant that Nigerians now have an alternative to the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ''that has taken the people for a bad ride in the past 14 years''…

PANA [this news service] reports that the APC, which is a merger of three opposition political parties - Action Congress of Nigeria, All Nigeria Peoples Party and the Congress for Progressive Change - is now the country's main opposition party and the country's second largest party after the PDP…

Nigeria approves opposition political coalition
Nigeria's electoral commission on Wednesday approved the creation of an opposition coalition that will join three political parties and is expected to present a strong challenge to President Goodluck Jonathan and his party in 2015 elections.

The commission announced that the parties met all statutory requirements for their merger into the All Progressives Congress that includes powerful Muslims from the north and equally influential Christian southerners.

Muhammadu Buhari
Among them are former military ruler Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, a popular northerner who some consider a strong anti-corruption fighter…

The coalition's most powerful figure from the south is Bola Ahmed Tinubu, a former senator and past governor of Lagos State who is considered a kingmaker…

Jonathan now is presented with the double challenge of a strong opposition and rifts within his own People's Democratic Party that could damage any bid to extend his presidency. Jonathan has not yet decided whether he will run, his office announced this week. He came to power by default as he was vice president when President Umar Yar'Adua died in 2010 and he then won the presidential election in 2011.

Northern politicians are opposed to Jonathan, a southerner and Christian, running for a second four-year term in 2015, objecting that northerners have been cheated of their chance at the presidency by Yar'Adua's death. While there is nothing in the constitution about it, there is an unwritten agreement in the ruling People's Democratic Party that power must be shared between the north and the south and a northern president should be succeeded by a southerner, to balance power in Africa's most populous nation…

The new coalition is considered the first viable option to PDP rule. But it too faces challenges in deciding who to present as its presidential candidate. Buhari, who appears an obvious choice, is a strong contender in the north but likely would have difficulty garnering votes from Christian southerners, even with the support of the coalition's southern partner, Tinubu's Action Congress of Nigeria…

Profile of Muhammadu Buhari on Wikipedia

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At 7:18 AM, Blogger Ken Wedding said...

More information from Nigerian sources.

At 7:19 AM, Blogger Ken Wedding said...

The previous sentence is a link to the sources. Here it is again, more obviously: http://allafrica.com/view/group/main/main/id/00025797.html


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