Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Sunday, September 01, 2013

Party Politics in Nigeria

A new opposition party has been formed. Now, the PDP appears to be splitting up. All in preparation for the 2015 elections. We'll eventually see whether the power and money available to those in power will be enough glue to hold the PDP together.

When I first saw this story on Reuters, I hadn't seen anything else about it. But, a report in Vanguard (Lagos) has similar information. Even with the time zone differences, this just happened Saturday.

Nigeria's ruling party splinters, in threat to Jonathan
Seven Nigerian ruling party governors and a former presidential candidate formed a splinter group opposed to President Goodluck Jonathan on Saturday, in the most explicit internal threat yet to his assumed bid to run for another term in office.

Nigeria's ruling People's Democratic Party has been in power since shortly after the end of military rule in 1998, but it is increasingly riven by internal squabbles, centered around Jonathan's alleged intention to run again in 2015…

Many northerners say Jonathan's running again would violate an unwritten rule within the PDP that power should rotate between the largely Muslim north and mostly Christian south every two terms.

Rotimi Amaechi
But the president has also made powerful enemies elsewhere, including the governor of Rivers state Rotimi Amaechi, who is from Jonathan's own oil producing Niger Delta region.

Amaechi was on the list of governors joining the "new" PDP, along with six other governors from northern states…

The open rebellion against Jonathan in his party could lead to more instability as the poll approaches. Violence, always high at election time, may worsen, as rivals use unemployed youth militia to settle scores.

It could also mean that Jonathan's loyalists will be forced to use state funds to pay off rivals, draining the treasury in a pattern that often sees the country's savings depleted and debt soar around election time…

Convention shocker: PDP Splits!
Atiku Abubakar
Exactly 15 years after its formal launch, the lingering crisis in the ruling People’s Democratic Party, PDP, degenerated, yesterday, when former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and seven governors broke away, formed a faction and named new national officers for it…

The governors and their teeming supporters had earlier stormed out … of the PDP Special Convention, after they alleged that the list of delegates for the election of national officers of the party... had been manipulated by the leadership to usher in their preferred candidates…

The embittered governors, some senators and House of Representatives members as well as other statutory delegates from their respective states later converged at the Yar’Adua Centre, Abuja, where they unfolded the agenda and the names of the national officers of their faction…

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