The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) kept its lead over eight rivals by gaining control of about 60 percent of the local councils in Nigeria where elections were held on Saturday, news agencies reported today (Tuesday). After 690 of the 774 local councils declared their results, Reuters reported that the All People’s Party (APP) came second, followed by the Alliance for Democracy (AD). The PDP is headed by General Olusegun Obasanjo. Reuters said the PDP appeared to have won its greatest victory in the northern state of Niger, from where Nigerian leader General Abdulsalami Abubakar and former head of state Ibrahim Babangida come. Final results would be announced later in the month after election run-offs were held.
Radio station Africa No. 1 reported yesterday (Monday) that Obasanjo’s aides were disappointed by his very poor performance in the southwest, the heart of Yorubaland, adding that his inability to emerge as a winner in his home region was a concern. There are reports that the PDP leadership might consider other candidates such as Alex Ekwueme, a former vice-president of Nigeria or General Ike Nwachukwu, a former minister.
US Commerce Secretary William Daley said yesterday Nigeria was making good progress towards becoming a trusted trade partner, a USIA press release said. “Yesterday’s peaceful local elections were significant,” he said calling them “the clearest sign yet of Nigeria’s determination to open up the political process”. US business would “be waiting and watching Nigeria in the months ahead” to see if reforms continue to take hold, Daley added.
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