Abubakar on ballot slip

ABUJA - Nigerian vice president Atiku Abubakar, pictured, will be able to stand as an opposition candidate in Saturday's presidential election, the official electoral commission said yesterday.

ABUJA - Nigerian vice president Atiku Abubakar, pictured, will be able to stand as an opposition candidate in Saturday's presidential election, the official electoral commission said yesterday.

The Nigerian supreme court ruled on Monday that the commission had acted illegally by disqualifying Abubakar, archrival of outgoing President Olusegun Obasanjo. But it had not been clear until yesterday's announcement that his name would be able to appear on the ballot.

Philip Umeadi, spokesman for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said: "The commission assures every Nigerian that the vice president will be on the ballot."

Abubakar is the presidential candidate of the Action Congress party, which won just one of 36 state governorships in regional polls last Saturday. The polls were marred by widespread vote rigging and violence.

INEC disqualified Abubakar, who has engaged in a bitter public power struggle with Obasanjo for more than two years over an indictment for fraud, which has been challenged in court.

Abubakar and former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari are the main opposition challengers to Umaru Yar'Adua, Obasanjo's chosen candidate for the ruling People's Democratic Party. - Reuters

X