Nigeria`s Prez declares intention to contest polls on Facebook
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Last Updated: Wednesday, September 15, 2010, 22:21
Abuja: Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan today announced on his Facebook page that he will run in the oil-rich African country's presidential polls scheduled for January, ending months of speculation over his plans.

"I Goodluck Ebele Jonathan by the grace of God hereby offer myself and my services to the Nigerian people as a candidate for the office of President in the forth coming 2011 elections," he wrote on his Facebook page stating that he had consulted widely before taking the decision.

Jonathan said he consulted with members of his family, his party, the opposition, civil society, the Private Sector, members of the Labour Unions, religious leaders, youths and student groups and traditional institutions before taking the decision.

Jonathan became Nigeria's President after the death of President Umaru Musa Ya'Adua early this year thereby bringing to fore a highly controversial issue of zoning power within the ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP) between the highly dominated Muslim north and Christian south.

He is from the South whereas Yar'Adua was from the north. His aides could not be reached for comments but the US Assistant Secretary of State Johnie Carson told the media on phone that his was a unique way of declaration.

A table published recently slated presidential election in Nigeria for January 22, 2011 by the country's Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The parliamentary elections are scheduled for January 15 while the governorship comes up on January 29.

Two notable candidates, former military dictator General Ibrahim Babangida and former vice president Abubakar Atiku have indicated their interest to contest for presidency.

Nigeria, Africa's most populous country with a population of 150 million, returned to democracy in 1999 after several years of military intervention.

Since then, presidential elections which are conducted every four years and have been won by the PDP.

Though opposition parties challenged the victories, the courts always rule in favour of PDP citing lack of evidence to prove the elections were rigged.


First Published: Wednesday, September 15, 2010, 22:21

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