Senators defect from Nigerian president's party

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Associated Press

Posted on January 29, 2014 at 1:02 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jan 29 at 1:04 PM

ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — Nigeria's leading opposition coalition says it has won over 11 senators who have defected from President Goodluck Jonathan's party.

Lai Mohammed, spokesman for the All Progressives Congress, said Wednesday that even more senators are expected to defect soon.

Jonathan's party has fractured over his perceived desire to contest February 2015 elections. It recently lost its majority in the House of Representatives when dozens of legislators joined the opposition.

However, a former presidential candidate and ex-governor of Kano state, Malam Ibrahim Shekarau, announced his defection Wednesday from the opposition coalition to the president's party, citing the coalition's lack of structure.

Nigeria has a history of violent elections and there already has been conflict as Arica's biggest oil producer prepares for balloting Feb. 14, 2015.

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