Nigeria

All eyes on a second round in presidential race


Published

Although the general election for the 360 seat House of Representatives takes place this Saturday 2nd April 2011, all eyes are on the presidential election a week later.

Traditionally the election is about who can garner sufficient votes from both the North and South of the country. The current President, Goodluck Jonathan, is breaking the precedent of the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) which aims to alternate between Northern and Southern candidates.

That may just have played into the hands of Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) candidate Muhammadu Buhari who’s stronghold is in the North.

Although Goodluck Jonathan started off very strongly, Buhari seems to have built up some momentum to the point where the PDP are issuing statements saying that Buhari cannot win. The PDP are also saying that there will be no second round runoff and that President Jonathan will win in the first round.

Jonathan came to power in 2010 following the death of incumbent President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua. A president is entitled to run for two, four year terms. Will Jonathan want to extend his first term? And in a country where violence and deaths are commonplace during elections, what will be the reaction of his supporters if he is forced into a second round runoff?

The Nigerian Presidential election has suddenly become much more exciting and much more dangerous.

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