Nigeria opposition divided on candidacy

Konye Obaji Ori* [caption id="attachment_12457" align="alignleft" width="480"]Buhari Buhari[/caption] Nigeria’s opposition party, the All People’s Congress (APC), is entangled in an internal clash over the selection of a presidential candidate ahead of the 2015 presidential elections. The party’s high profile aspiring candidates, former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari and former vice-president Atiku Abubakar, are not popular in Nigeria’s five of the six geopolitical zones. Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State is reportedly interested in the party nomination, although he has not formerly declared his ambition. Oshiomole is believed to be popular than both Buhari and Abubakar. The other major aspirants’ governor Rabiu Kwankwanso of Kano State and Sam Nda-Isaiah want the APC nomination, but has no determinable appeal. The party is yet to come up with a selection criteria for its presidential poll candidate. Buhari wants a consensus candidacy while Atiku wants the party to conduct primary elections. “When one considers the bitterness, rancour and bad blood indirect primary will most likely generate, it becomes safer to work towards a consensual agreement,” Buhari’s camp said in a statement. “We must at all times bear in mind that we are being hunted and that those who boasted to rule Nigeria for 60 years uninterrupted, are still hell bent to scuttle the yearnings and aspirations of Nigerians for genuine ideological regime change.” However, Atiku’s camp wants a more ‘democratic’ process that involves ‘modified direct primaries.’ “The modified direct primary cannot on the other hand be faulted as being undemocratic because the delegates coming forward, as proposed, are all elected officials,” his camp said in a statement. “There is no dispute concerning their status as elected officials. “For this reason alone, they are credible because they are representative of their wards. “We support it because we believe it is broad enough to make for popular representation.” Kwankwanso and Nda-Isaish insist that it does not matter how the party chooses its candidate. *Source theafricareport]]>

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