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Nigeria's opposition sets out its vision for government

Nigeria's main opposition party has unveiled what it hopes will be a blueprint for winning power when voters in Africa's most populous nation go to the polls to elect a new president and parliament. The All Progressives Congress (APC), which is expected to run President Goodluck Jonathan's ruling Peoples Democractic Party (PDP) close in next year's vote, called the manifesto a "Road Map to a New Nigeria".

Nigeria's Jonathan removes his party's 'place man'

Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan on Thursday announced the resignation of the chairman of his ruling party, under pressure from relentless criticism and the weakening of his political power base. Jonathan told the national executive committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that Bamanga Tukur had stepped down, seen as a move to try to calm competing factions and heal divisions. "For us to make sure that we put to rest these issues, the party chairman agreed to step aside," Jonathan told delegates at a meeting in the capital, Abuja.

Nigeria's Jonathan pressed to hold talks on country's future

President Goodluck Jonathan was on Monday urged to hold talks on the future of Nigeria, as the country prepared to mark the centenary of the unification of north and south. The Movement for New Nigeria (MNN), a civil society group made up of a number of different ethnic groups, said a national dialogue was the only way of resolving contentious issues gripping the country. Jonathan is facing a political crisis after the defection of a number of high-profile state governors from his ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the loss of his parliamentary majority.

Nigerian president sacks ministers amid party divisions

By Felix Onuah ABUJA (Reuters) - Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan sacked nine ministers on Wednesday in his first major cabinet reshuffle, as he looked to rally support in an increasingly divided ruling party. The dismissals, which did not impact key finance and oil positions, come less than two weeks after seven ruling party governors and a former presidential candidate formed a splinter group opposed to Jonathan.

Nigeria amnesty panel says talks possible with Islamists

The head of a panel set up to seek an amnesty deal with Nigerian Islamist group Boko Haram voiced confidence Wednesday that members of the insurgent group could be brought into talks. The statement came as rescue workers deployed to the remote northeastern town of Baga, where the Red Cross says fierce gun battles killed 187 people. The military has disputed this figure, but the toll makes the Baga violence the deadliest-ever episode in the Boko Haram insurgency, which has killed thousands since 2009.

True story: Nigerian state seeks to hush rumours

The government in this Nigerian state decided something needed to be done, so billboards have been erected around town and a committee has been named. The campaign to stamp out the spreading of rumours in Bayelsa, the home state of Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, is now underway. "What rumours are they scared of?" said Simon Goladi, a 34-year-old sociology student walking near one of the anti-rumour billboards in the state capital Yenagoa. "It's just a waste of resources."

Right groups condemn detention of Nigeria journalists

Media rights groups on Tuesday condemned the detention by police of Nigerian journalists who refused to disclose their source for a disputed story about the president, as their paper alleged that two reporters were being held incommunicado. Nigerian police on Monday detained four journalists from the independent Leadership newspaper, but two have since been released, the company's Managing Director Azubuike Ishikwene told AFP.

Nigerian journalists held after accusing Jonathan of skulduggery

ABUJA (Reuters) - Nigerian police have detained a number of journalists a week after their newspaper reported that President Goodluck Jonathan had issued orders to frustrate a newly potent opposition by any means, including surveillance. Africa's most populous nation has a vocal and relatively free press by the standards of the region and even vitriolic criticism of the president is usually tolerated. However, the suggestion that he was resorting to illicit political tactics was an inflammatory one.

UPDATE 1-Nigerian president signs parliament's 2013 budget

ABUJA, Feb 26 (Reuters) - Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan approved on Tuesday a 4.99 trillion naira ($31.63 billion) budget passed by parliament, the presidency said, ending two months of dispute over the spending plans. Jonathan presented the budget to the national assembly in October but lawmakers increased spending and reduced the amount of oil revenues Africa's largest producer would save by the time they passed the budget in December.

Nigerian oil state approves death penalty for kidnappers

YENAGOA, Nigeria, Feb 15 (Reuters) - Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan's home state of Bayelsa signed a law on Wednesday approving the death penalty for convicted kidnappers, in a region were abductions by criminal gangs are common. Kidnapping for ransom in the southern Niger Delta and offshore of the oil region is a multi-million dollar business. The vast majority of people taken are Nigerians, although foreigners are also regularly targeted.
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