- Title: NIGERIA: Ruling party vows to uproot opposition from its stronghold of Lagos
- Date: 2nd March 2011
- Summary: LAGOS, NIGERIA (MARCH 01, 2011) (REUTERS) MEMBERS OF THE RULING PEOPLES DEMOCRATIC PARTY (PDP) ARRIVING FOR THE RALLY PARTY SUPPORTERS MILLING AROUND AT THE RALLY VARIOUS CAMPAIGN POSTERS DEPICTING PRESIDENT GOODLUCK JONATHAN AS A CHAMPION BOXER
- Embargoed: 17th March 2011 12:00
- Location: Nigeria, Nigeria
- Country: Nigeria
- Topics: Domestic Politics
- Reuters ID: LVADY8H80BXJVZGJGLGZI93PX8XL
- Story Text: Nigeria's ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP) on Tuesday held a rally in the opposition stronghold Lagos and vowed to emerge victorious in April's general elections.
Thousand of supporters turned up the at the Tafawa Balewa Square in the commercial capital Lagos to greet the PDP heavyweights like President Goodluck Jonathan and former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo.
Jonathan is widely expected to win on April 9, but he's a southerner, and faces resistance from areas including parts of the Muslim north.
Campaigning in the presidential race has been largely free of the sort of rhetoric that could polarise the electorate around regional rivalries.
"What Jonathan has done as a Deputy Governor of Bayelsa State is there, what Jonathan has done as Governor of Bayelsa state is there, the exemplary act he laid down when he was the Vice President is there, definitely from the will of the masses they supported him, and he got the ticket to come up as the President and with such I want to tell you it is possible he definitely is going to emerge President come 2011 April election," said Elesh Mogun, a Lagos-based politician.
Lagos State has traditionally been the stronghold of the opposition Action Congress Nigeria party the since the advent of democracy in the country. With a population of over 15 million people, Lagos also has the highest number of registered voters and is now the main front-line as campaigns heat up.
"I studied his movements, I've watched his performance, the man does not want to be there to say I am the President or I want to be President, he wants to serve the people," said Jaful Jafojo, another politician who attended the rally.
Jonathan inherited the presidency last year when his northern predecessor Umaru Yar'Adua died in his first term. He is the first head of state from the southern Niger Delta oil region.
"We youths we need transformation, a generational change that we are changing from one leadership that has been for a very long time to a generational change that can take care of our future," Adepapo Michael, a youth leader.
A PDP candidate has won every presidential election since the end of military rule in 1999 in the country of 150 million people.
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