Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has less than a year to finish out the term of the country’s late president Umaru Musa Yar’Adua. But he is already the frontrunner for next year’s election and will be hard to beat if he improves electricity and enacts electoral reforms. Mr. Jonathan’s candidacy would challenge an informal regional power sharing agreement.
After months of uncertainty as Nigeria’s president, Mr. Jonathan has moved quickly to show that this is now his government following President Yar’Adua’s death.
With a new cabinet and new vice president, Mr. Jonathan has set ambitious goals to boost electricity production, secure the gains of an amnesty for Niger Delta militants, and enact electoral reforms before next year’s vote.
If he succeeds, University of Lagos political science professor Abubakar Momoh says President Jonathan will be hard to beat in the race for the nomination of the ruling People’s Democratic Party.
“There are no people outside of this network of government patronage as such in the PDP that are able, beyond their politicking and sloganeering, who are able to have the kind of economy to be able to sustain the incumbency patronage that Goodluck is able to doll out in the context of the configuration that we now have,” Momoh said. “And note that they have only seven months to sort themselves out and that gives an advantage to Goodluck, because they did not expect this scenario.”