Nigeria: Clubbing together

THANKS to inspired team play, the Nigerian national football squad on February 10th won for the first time since 1994 the biennial African Cup of Nations held in South Africa (see picture above). Opposition politicians at home, along with millions of countrymen, celebrated wildly. But can they follow the footballers’ example and work as a team?Days earlier, opposition leaders announced the merger of four sizeable parties with the aim of defeating the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) of President Goodluck Jonathan, who may be planning to seek another term in office two years from now. The PDP has held power since the end of military rule 14 years ago yet repeatedly failed to honour its promises of curbing corruption and spreading the nation’s oil wealth.The merger is the most committed effort to date by the opposition to form a united front. In theory, power is within reach. The PDP frequently loses state elections, but has been able to hold on to the presidency because it alone has a nationwide network of candidates and activists. Other parties operate from strongholds but have so far failed to field a candidate with broad national appeal. Mr Jonathan…

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