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Nigerian politicians move to stop Goodluck Jonathan’s presidential bid

By Konye Obaji Ori
Posted on Monday, 26 August 2013 10:22

The split, which reportedly followed the formation of a new party – the Voice of the People (VOP) – by seven governors from northern states purportedly threatened Jonathan’s bid for a second term.

According to reports, the majority northern governors decided to form the breakaway party after a series of meetings with prominent politicians, including former heads of state.

But Ahmed Sajoh, the director of press and public affairs of Adamawa State Governor, Murtala Nyako, who was named as part of the breakaway party told Vanguard newspaper that: “The so-called formation of a new party by seven PDP governors, including Nyako, is news to us”

Those named in the original press statement as being part of VOP have all pointed to a smear campaign.

“Those who are linking Governor Nyako with the VOP are doing that deliberately to cause confusion and distraction from the real issues” said Sajoh.

The split, if true, would be heaven sent for the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC), which has been gaining ground against the PDP.

Governors from Nigeria’s north and western states are very influential because the region has 40 percent of the country’s voters.

Analysts reacting to the initial statement said the now uncertain VOP’s mission was “to stop President Jonathan in his 2015 ambition.”

If VOP’s registration is considered by the country’s Independent National Electoral Commission, it would become the fourth political party to be formed in Nigeria in one month.

Others are the All Progressives Congress (APC), Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM) and Independent Democrats (ID).

Jonathan’s first term in office has been marred by worsening ethnic and religious divisions in the country.

This has led to some senior officials in the PDP challenging his eligibility to stand for another term, arguing his eligibility would have to be determined by the Supreme Court.

His critics say Jonathan, who was Vice President before succeeding the late Umaru Yar’Adua in 2010, had broken his party’s north-south rotation of the presidency.

Jonathan, a southerner, won a presidential election in April the following year.

Yar’Adua, who was from the north, died only a year away from the end of his first term in office.

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