Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan on Wednesday declared his intention to run in elections due in January on his Facebook webpage, threatening a power share notion between north and south part of the country.
"Today I confirm that after wide and thorough consultations ... I Goodluck Ebele Jonathan by the grace of God hereby offer myself and my services to the Nigerian people as a candidate for the office of President in the forthcoming 2011 elections," said a statement on his page on the social networking site.
The statement said Jonathan would make a formal declaration in the capital Abuja on Saturday on his intention to run for the leadership of Africa's most populous nation.
Presidency officials could not be reached immediately for comment.
Jonathan's election bid is controversial because of an agreement in the ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP) that power should rotate between the mostly Muslim north and predominantly Christian south every two terms, meaning a northerner should be the next leader. Jonathan is from the southern Niger Delta.
The notion of sharing power between north and south aims to prevent such disputes becoming a factor in federal politics.
The statement on Facebook said Jonathan had decided to bid after consultations with the country's six geo-political zones, the ruling party, the opposition, civil society, labour unions and religious leaders.
Nigeria is equally split between Christians and Muslims and is made up of more than 200 ethnic groups, all of whom generally live peacefully side by side.
But more than 13,500 people have died in religious or ethnic clashes since the end of military rule in 1999, according to U.S.-based Human Rights Watch, violence whose roots lie more in rivalry for land and economic power than in religious fervour.
ReutersLast Mod: 15 Eylül 2010, 18:09