Nigerian Opposition Party Starts Presidential Election Campaign

Feb. 16 (Bloomberg) -- Nigeria’s biggest opposition party started its campaign for the presidential election today, promising to tackle corruption and to boost economic growth if elected in April’s poll.

“We need a leadership that can work to create a united, secure and just society that will meet the demands of the 21st century,” Nuhu Ribadu, the candidate for the Action Congress of Nigeria, said in a speech today in Abuja, the capital.

Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation, is set to hold presidential elections on April 9. Ribadu, a Muslim from the northeastern Adamawa state, will compete against incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan of the ruling People’s Democratic Party, or PDP, and former military ruler General Muhammadu Buhari of the Congress for Progressive Change.

As the first head of the anti-graft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ribadu brought corruption charges against politicians in the PDP and government officials, including serving governors and ministers. He promised “not to allow the corrupt to fight corruption” if elected.

The ruling People’s Democratic Party, or PDP, has governed Nigeria, the continent’s top oil producer, since the West African nation returned to civilian rule in 1999.

Parliamentary and state governorship polls are scheduled for April 2 and 16 respectively.

To contact the reporter on this story: Elisha Bala-Gbogbo in Abuja at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin at