Thursday, 24 July 2014

Nigeria's President sounds out supporters for 2015 re-election bid

Jonathan sounds out supporters for 2015 re-election bid

President Goodluck Jonathan won backing for a re-election bid from several People's Democratic Party (PDP) state governors and House of Representatives members at a meeting held at the Aso Rock presidential villa in Abuja in the week ending 19 July.

Insiders say Jonathan will officially declare his candidacy in late August, following the end of Ramadan and out of respect to Muslim members of the PDP. He also wants to pre-empt any rivals. His most likely opponent within the PDP for the nomination is Jigawa state’s governor Sule Lamido who has the backing of former president Olusegun Obasanjo (1999–2007).

Lamido, a quietly spoken former foreign minister, is scarcely more charismatic than Jonathan but the PDP’s northern caucus would find him more acceptable. If he mounts a serious campaign, with strong backing from PDP governors in the north, he could really damage Jonathan. This, however, requires courage and money and no one is certain about Lamido’s reserves of either commodity.

Despite this Jonathan may need to offer him a very important job if he is to be persuaded to cease and desist.

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

© 2014 Menas Associates

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