Nigeria: Minorities give their support to Jonathan

The presidential race in Nigeria is gathering momentum as it becoming a race between incumbent president Goodluck Jonathan and Buhari. Both candidates have been crisscrossing the country but the ever present Boko Haram threat in north eastern part of the country has led to suggestions that the elections should be postponed. Opposition parties are against the idea as they continue to criticize President Jonathan for failing to do enough in the fight against the extremist group.

Jonathan is expected to lose the elections but the decision of some of the minority opposition groups to rally behind him on Monday could be a turning point in what has turned out to be a hotly contested election. The minority leaders said they are supporting him to consolidate political equality and an egalitarian nation. The leaders met in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State under the aegis of Congress for Equity Change.

Most of the participants at the meeting have accused Buhari’s camp of upholding tribal and religious sentiments during campaigns. Buhari is the candidate of the All Progressive Congress which is a coalition of different political parties. Presidential elections in Nigeria have often been divided along religious lines with the south voting for a Christian candidates and the north for a Muslim. Jonathan is a Christian and Buhari a Muslim. The announcements of results are often marred with violence.

The elections will be monitored by international observers but the European Union has already stated that it will not be sending a team to the north eastern part of the country for security reasons. The region is Boko Haram’s stronghold and there are fears that the group might tend to disrupt elections there.
A pan-African force is expected to help in the fight against Boko Haram.

About Geraldine Boechat 2764 Articles
Senior Editor for Medafrica Times and former journalist for Swiss National Television. former NGO team leader in Burundi and Somalia