Nigeria holds presidential primary

The vote will decide Olusegun Obasanjo's replacement as the ruling party's candidate.

    Yar'Adua is the favourite in the primaries
    Security was tight in the capital, Abuja, on Saturday as about 5,000 delegates gathered to vote.
     
    In a statement, the PDP governors and governorship candidates said:
    "After due consideration of all the aspirants on the platform of the party, we have resolved to support the candidacy of Umaru Yar'Adua."
     
    Yar'Adua, who suffers from a chronic kidney condition, is the president's favourite.
     
    Party sources said many contestants withdrew from the race on Friday but Aliyu Gusau, former national security adviser to Obasanjo, was still determined to force a vote at Saturday's convention.
     
    One senior delegate said: "Gusau is the most formidable challenger, but Yar'Adua certainly looks like the favourite."
     
    Nationwide network
     
    With deep pockets, tight control over security forces and an unrivalled nationwide network, the PDP is the party to beat in April's landmark vote which should mark the first handover from one elected president to another in Africa's biggest oil-producing country.
     

    Obasanjo, the Nigeria president, cannot stand again


    Analysts say the opposition is gaining strength with people growing disaffected with the PDP.
     
    Obasanjo, who must step down next year after failing to amend the constitution and stay in power, has tightened his grip over party structures in the past few months.
     
    The retired general has imposed candidates at the local and state levels, causing widespread disaffection among the losers. Critics accuse him of using the government's anti-corruption squad to intimidate opponents.
     
    Return to democracy 
     
    Obasanjo's election in 1999 marked a return to democracy after three decades of almost continuous army rule. But bribery, violence and rigging are still the currency of politics.
     
    The opposition aims to capitalise on splits in the PDP and lack of support for Yar'Adua.
     
    Two main opposition parties, All Nigeria People's Party (ANPP) and Action Congress (AC), signed an alliance this week that analysts expect to lead to former military ruler, Muhammadu Buhari, becoming their candidate.
     
    They hold their presidential primaries on Sunday and Monday respectively.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    From Qatar to Alaska, a personal journey exploring what it means to belong when your culture is endangered.