Friday, 25 March 2011

Nigeria's opposition accuses Jonathan of “arrogance”

Three of Nigeria's main opposition candidates – Gen Muhammadu Buhari of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC); Mallam Nuhu Ribadu of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN); and Ibrahim Shekarau of the All Nigerian Peoples Party (ANPP) – have pulled out of election debates with President Goodluck Jonathan on account of Jonathan's “arrogance”.

Jonathan declined to take part in a debate last week, organised by NN24 TV, saying he would only participate in a debate organised by Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (BON). The other candidates have voiced their concern over Jonathan's affiliation with BON, saying it was somewhat "suspicious".

The three candidates released a joint statement, saying: “We state without ambiguity that our principals will not honour any debate session with President Jonathan in the 2011 elections as he has arrogantly shunned the credible debate for which we made ourselves available. We wish to clear the air on the matter of the presidential debate organised by NN24 so that our teeming supporters and Nigerians in general will understand and appreciate our position.”

Jonathan, who inherited power last year after president Umaru Yar'Adua died, is the candidate of the People's Democratic Party (PDP) which has won every national poll since 1999. Elections for the National Assembly are scheduled for 2nd April.

Sources: BBC News, Afrique en Ligue, AFP

For more news and expert analysis about Nigeria, please see Nigeria Focus and Nigeria Politics & Security.

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