Nigeria’s President Jonathan draws an intimidating show of support against Babangida at Abuja declaration for 2011 contest.
By Chido Nwangwu with additional reports from USAfrica editors in Abuja and Houston.
The battle lines have, formally, been drawn and the contending forces ready to take the battle of the presidential contest to the electorate in Nigeria.
A few hours ago on Saturday September 18, 2010, Nigeria’s President Dr. Goodluck Jonathan formally declared his quest for the 2011 presidential elections. It was the ceremonial aspect of his indication 3 days earlier on on his Facebook page, affirming his decision to contest. See his text and reporting on USAfricaonline.com
Today’s event was clearly a major counterweight to former military president Ibrahim Babangida’s declaration 3 days earlier at the same venue, with an impressive crowd but not as much as Jonathan’s mammoth crowd of governors, government officials and other members of the ruling PDP partisans. Babangida is a Muslim from the northern state of Niger.
He declared to applause that: “I, Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan have decided to humbly offer myself as a candidate in the presidential primaries of our great party, … in order to stand for the 2011 presidential elections.”
The 52-year-old christian from the restive Niger Delta (Bayelsa State) took a philosophical high-road when he added “I have come to launch a campaign of ideas, not one of calumny. I have come to preach love, not hate. I have come to break you away from divisive tendencies of the past which have slowed our drive to true nationhood.” He served as VP to the late president Umaru Yar’Adua until the latter’s death in May 2010 when he assumed the top position. Jonathan promised a better approach and subtly contrasted his candidacy to Babangida’s, and stated that “I have come to say to all of you that Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan is the man you need to put Nigeria right.”
The contending claims to making Nigeria better in 2011 will increase as the days get closer to the end of year and more candidates and coalitions emerge.
report update is coming up, soon, on USAfricaonline.com, facebook.com/usafricachido, twitter.com/chido247and some of our blogs: Nigeria360 at yahoogroups. e-mail: News@USAfricaonline.com ofc: 713-270-5500. wireless: 832-45-CHIDO (24436).
VIDEO of the CNN International broadcast of its profile of USAfrica and CLASSmagazine Publisher Dr. Chido Nwangwu.http://edition.cnn.com/video/#/video/international/2010/07/29/mpa.african.media.bk.a.cnn
USAfrica and USAfricaonline.com (characterized by The New York Times as the most influential African-owned, U.S-based multimedia networks) established May 1992, our first edition of USAfrica magazine was published August 1993; USAfrica The Newspaper on May 11, 1994; CLASSmagazine on May 2, 2003; www.PhotoWorks.TV in 2005.