Voting today for a president


Around 73 million Nigerians will have the opportunity to vote today for a new president. They will be voting across 36 states in 120,000 polling booths in a country that has 250 ethic groups and is predominantly Muslim in the north and Christian in the South.

The three main candidates are:

Goodluck Jonathan of the Progressive People’s Party (PDP). He is the incumbent, having taken over as the president when the incumbent, Umaru Yar’Adua died several years ago. Jonathan has pledged free and fair elections and appointed a new Chairman of the Independent National Election Commission (INEC) to ensure that they were. Although there have been problems, last weeks legislative elections went pretty well and the opposition parties made gains against the incumbent PDP.

Jonathan is a southern Christian and ex zoologist who has gained more respect as he has taken on the mantle of president. He is expected to win against a divided opposition who failed to put up a single candidate against him. The PDP is the only party which has wide appeal cross the whole nation.

Muhammedu Bihari of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) is a retired general and northern Muslim with a big following in the north. His party did well in last week’s legislative election, but he has no traction in the south.

Nuhu Ribadu of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) is the ex head of the anti-corruption agency with a strong base in the south. His party did well in southern states and took every seat in Lagos.

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