Nigeria, Africa’s largest oil producer, braced for key poll

27 May 2015, News Wires – Nigerians are preparing to head to the polls on Saturday as Africa’s largest oil producer gears up for one of its most closely-fought elections.

Jonathan Buhari

Jonathan and Buhari

President Goodluck Jonathan will be hoping a last ditch attempt to quell the uprising from Boko Haram – which has reportedly seen the insurgency group’s headquarters seized by Nigeria’s military – will swing the election the way of his ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Jonathan’s main challenger is Muhammadu Buhari, leader of the All Progressive Congress (APC) and a former military head of state.

The pair this week signed an agreement aimed at preventing any violence during voting at the weekend, a hallmark of previous elections. That deal was brokered by ex-military ruler Abdulsalami Abubakar.

Nigeria has sealed off its land and sea borders in an effort to hold a free and fair election and an attempt to impose strict security measures during voting time.

Reports on Friday suggest the military has just recaptured the north-eastern town of Gwoza, which was seized by Boko Haram in August and was thought to be acting as the group’s headquarters.

Saturday’s poll was originally set for 14 February but was delayed in order to allow the country to guarantee a greater degree of security amid the ever-present threat from Boko Haram.

– Upstream

About the Author