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Vol 47 No 19

Published 22nd September 2006


Nigeria

Ambitions in the north

The President has not said who he wants to succeed him but he knows who he wants to stop

The northern Nigerian elite is in the unfamiliar position of trying to side-step the manoeuvrings of a southern President determined to block the political ambitions of at least two of its most prominent candidates. The real rivalry is the battle of wits between the President and the two leading presidential would-bes in his party, Vice-President Atiku Abubakar and the former military leader General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida. This rivalry has sharpened since the campaign to win President Olusegun Obasanjo a third term collapsed in May. The prize for both Abubakar and Babangida is the governing People's Democratic Party (PDP) nomination in next year's presidential election. Yet both men have enough funds and determination to find means of standing other than by winning the PDP nomination.

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