Thursday, April 14, 2011


Nigerians are set to exercise their civic rights to vote and elect the next President. The exercise will be conducted in 120,001 polling booths spread across the country. There are a total of 18 candidates on the list. The candidates include incumbent president, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan of the ruling PDP; Maj.-Gen. Muhammadu Buhari of the Congress for Progressive Change  (CPC), who is making his third attempt at the presidency; Nuhu Ribadu of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) presidential candidate Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau, who is the governor of Kano State.

Of the 18 candidates, seven are from the South-South geo-political zone. They are: President Jonathan, Rev. Chris Okotie of the Fresh Democratic Party, Ebiti Onoyom Ndok (the only female), United National Party for Development (UNPD), Prof. Pat Utomi of the Social Democratic Mega Party (SDMP), Akpona Solomon of the National Majority Democratic Party (NMDP), Ambrose Awuru of Hope Democratic Party (HPT) and Chris Nwaokobia of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP).
From the South East are, Iheanyichukwu Nnaji of the Better Nigeria Progressive Party (BNP), Nwadike Chikezie Peoples Mandate Party (BMP), and Prof. Peter Nwangwu of the African Democratic Congress (ADC). There are only two candidates from the South West. They are Rasheed Shitta-Bey of the platform of Mega Progressive Peoples Party (MPPP) and Dele Momodu of the National Conscience Party (NCP).
There are six from the North and they are Ribadu, Buhari, Mahmud Waziri of the People for Democratic Change (PDC), John Dara of the National Transformation Party (NTP), Shekarau and Yahaya Ndu, African Renaissance Party (ARP). Utomi voluntarily withdrew from the race for Shekarau.
As the alliance was falling to pieces, six presidential candidates; Nwagwu, Nnaji, Akpona, Nwadike, Prince Lawson Igboanugo and Shitta-Bey were queuing up to adopted Jonathan as their consensus candidate. They joined the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), which didn’t pick a presidential candidate but adopted Jonathan from the start. At the last count, the number of parties that have adopted Jonathan and the PDP has risen to over 45.
The question is, which of the 17 candidates will win the polls, initially billed for April 9 but was rescheduled after the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) postponed the National Assembly polls and subsequently adjusted the election timetable.

Source – The Guardian

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