Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education



Front Page

World

UK

UK Politics

Business

Sci/Tech

Health

Education

Sport

Entertainment

Talking Point
On Air
Feedback
Low Graphics
Help

Tuesday, February 16, 1999 Published at 11:36 GMT


World: Africa

Two contest Nigeria presidency

Now there are just two presidential candidates

Nigeria's former finance minister, Olu Falae, has been named the joint presidential nominee for two of Nigeria's three political parties, setting him against retired general Olusegun Obasanjo in the upcoming elections.

Nigeria in transition
Officials from the All People's Party and the Alliance for Democracy agreed early on Tuesday morning on a joint candidacy for Mr Falae, following weeks of political and legal wrangling over such a plan.

The 60-year-old former government official will have a difficult campaign to overcome the political power and financial backing of Mr Obasanjo and the Peoples' Democratic Party in the election on 27 February.


[ image:  ]
The retired general - who was imprisoned by former military dictator Sani Abacha - is the favourite to win presidential elections on 27 February, the latest step on Nigeria's return to civilian rule. The current military leader, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, has pledged to step down on 29 May after handing over power to the first civilian president in 15 years.

Analysts say the linkage of the AD and the APP is surprising at first glance, as the Alliance for Democracy is largely composed of Yorubas from Nigeria's southwest and lead by a number of prominent opponents of the country's late dictator, Sani Abacha.

The All Peoples Party, meanwhile, includes many politicians who built their careers through loyalty to General Abacha.

Mr Falae, a Yoruba who had earlier been named the candidate of the Alliance for Democracy, is seen as a temperate politician who could gain support outside of the southwest.

Mr Obasanjo is also a Yoruba, but in a country split along regional, ethnic and religious lines, he is also an anomaly. He draws most of his support from the predominantly Muslim north, where the military is popular.

Mr Obasanjo is also well-known for being the only Nigerian military ruler to ever give up power voluntarily.

He was jailed from 1995 until June last year by Abacha for alleged involvement in a coup. But his military past is exactly why he is widely distrusted in his home region in the south, where opposition to successive military governments has been strong.





Advanced options | Search tips




Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©




Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia



Relevant Stories

15 Feb 99 | After Abacha
Nigeria: A history of coups

15 Feb 99 | Africa
Profile: Olusegun Obasanjo - president again?

09 Jan 99 | Africa
Clear winner in Nigeria polls

21 Sep 98 | From Our Own Correspondent
Nigeria tastes freedom

15 Dec 98 | Africa
Three Nigerian parties qualify for polls

06 Dec 98 | Africa
Monitors cheer Nigeria polls





Internet Links


Nigeria on the Net

Nigeria Media Monitor


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.




In this section

Dam builders charged in bribery scandal

Burundi camps 'too dire' to help

Sudan power struggle denied

Animal airlift planned for Congo

Spy allegations bug South Africa

Senate leader's dismissal 'a good omen'

Tatchell calls for rights probe into Mugabe

Zimbabwe constitution: Just a bit of paper?

South African gays take centre stage

Nigeria's ruling party's convention

UN to return to Burundi

Bissau military hold fire

Nile basin agreement on water cooperation

Congo Brazzaville defends peace initiative

African Media Watch

Liberia names new army chief