Nigeria gets a 2015 election preview

2013-01-05 07:26
Goodluck Jonathan (Picture: AFP)

Goodluck Jonathan (Picture: AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

  • Goodluck Jonathan
    Goodluck Jonathan features articles containing everything you need to know about the Nigerian... Now R838.00
    buy now
Lagos - They apparently came when no one was looking and carried out what some now say was an evil deed around the Nigerian capital Abuja.

Their crime? They plastered posters.

Posters appeared on 1 January promoting President Goodluck Jonathan's re-election in 2015 - a seemingly innocuous gesture, but one capable of setting off major controversy in Africa's most populous country.

Their emergence has made front-page news, sparking strong denials from the president's spokesperson and suspicion over who could be behind them.

One newspaper quoted an activist suggesting those responsible were "evil-minded”, while another headline declared, "Security Agents Lay Ambush for the Masterminds”.

The move stirs up issues at the heart of politics in Nigeria, which includes 160 million people, 250 ethnic groups and Africa's biggest oil industry.

Such issues involve which region of the diverse nation will control the presidency - and the vast oil revenues and patronage that come with it.

For some, Jonathan has no right to run in the 2015 vote.

Others say it is too early to talk about 2015 polls in a nation that suffers daily electricity blackouts, debilitating corruption and a long list of other developmental shortcomings.

It is also facing an insurgency from Islamist extremist group Boko Haram in the northern and central regions that has killed hundreds.

The president's spokesperson Reuben Abati told journalists that Jonathan had nothing to do with the posters, and some wondered whether it could be his enemies causing trouble.

Jonathan "believes that those doing that are playing games," Abati said. "There is no reason for the president to engage in any form of scaremongering.

"He has said that by 2014, his position on the 2015 presidential race would be made public."

The posters, many of which have since been taken down, included a photo of Jonathan with slogans such as "One Good Term Deserves Another”.

Free-for-all

One reason Jonathan's potential 2015 candidacy is so controversial, some argue, is because it was never his turn to be president in the first place.

His 2011 election violated "zoning," essentially a power-sharing agreement meant to see the ruling People’s Democratic Party rotate its candidate between the mainly Muslim north and predominately Christian south every two terms.

Jonathan, who had been vice-president, became head of state in 2010 after the death of his northern predecessor Umaru Yar'Adua, who was not able to finish his first term before the presidency returned to the south.

The accidental leader ran for office in 2011 elections, handily beating his main rival from the north.

Regional issues are certain to again play a role in 2015. Some even argue that Jonathan cannot legally run since that would give him more than the legally mandated two terms of office.

His supporters dismiss this, saying he was simply serving out Yar'Adua's term from 2010 to 2011.

A spokesperson for the Arewa Consultative Forum, a group of influential northern politicians, said he did not believe Jonathan was behind the posters and that it was too early to talk about who would run in 2015.

"The idea of starting the politics of 2015 now - that is two and a half years ahead - it is ... capable of detracting from governance," Anthony Sani said.

For Clement Nwankwo, who heads the Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre watchdog group, one of the disappointments of Jonathan's term is that he has not been able to further put the idea of zoning to rest.

No progress

Achieving significant progress with development and infrastructure could have helped demonstrate it does not matter where the president comes from, he said.

According to Nwankwo, Jonathan has failed to do so in a country where most citizens live on less than $2 per day.

"Government is seen today as a free-for-all where officials are basically plundering national resources without anyone calling them to account," Nwankwo said.

Some argue a northern president would be better placed to end the Boko Haram insurgency, but Nwankwo said that would not get to the root of such problems in a country that also saw major unrest in the oil-producing south before a 2009 amnesty deal.

"What does it matter where a president comes from if it is all still the same vicious cycle of corruption?" he asked.

Read more on:    goodluck jonathan  |  nigeria  |  west africa
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Sport

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

ONE DAY ONLY – 50% off 1000’s of toys

Get 50% of 1000’s off toys! Offer valid on selected toys. Shop now! T&C’s apply

Pre-order your iPhone 6 at kalahari.com

Hurry and pre-order your own iPhone 6 now at SA’s favourite online store!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

Mind blow low prices on electronics

Get either the Prestigio multiphone or Proline tablet 7” tablet for only R699. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Barbie toys

Save 30% on all Barbie toys and accessories. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Mind power dominates and can help you to uncover things from a deeper level, but it can also create entanglements if you let your...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.