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Nigerian president announces 2011 election bid

By the CNN Wire Staff
Goodluck Jonathan and his wife wife, Patience, leave a rally in Abuja on September 18 after he declared his intention to run for president in 2011.
Goodluck Jonathan and his wife wife, Patience, leave a rally in Abuja on September 18 after he declared his intention to run for president in 2011.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • President Goodluck Jonathan will run in next month's primaries
  • He lauds achievements made under his leadership
  • A bloc of politicians from the country's north plan to challenge Jonathan

Lagos, Nigeria (CNN) -- Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan officially declared Saturday that he will run in the 2011 elections, lauding his achievements in reforming the oil, banking and electricity sectors.

"I have decided to humbly offer myself as a candidate in the presidential primaries of our party the great PDP (People's Democratic Party)," he said.

Jonathan's official declaration comes three days after he informally announced on Facebook that he intended to run in the primaries, which will be held between October 18 and 20, according PDP spokesman Rufai Alkali.

"In presenting myself for service, I make no pretense that I have a magic wand that will solve all of Nigeria's problems or that I am the most intelligent Nigerian," Jonathan wrote on his Facebook page Wednesday.

He took a more confident stance Saturday, announcing that under his presidency, all petrol refineries are now working, the banking sector has been reformed, electricity has been stablized and steps have been taken to fix roads, water, education and food production. He also said he has set in progress free and fair elections.

Jonathan's eligibility was in question until last month, when the People's Democratic Party said he could run in an open race with other candidates next year.

Under Nigerian "zoning" rules, power must shift to different regions and ethnic groups every eight years.

Jonathan -- who is from the Niger Delta, in the south -- was part of the joint ticket of the late President Umaru Yar'Adua, who was from the north.

Yar'Adua's death in May, after a long illness, upset the order of the zoning. Yar'Adua was elected in 2007 and his southern replacement threatened to halt the north's turn at holding power.

On Friday, four main contenders from the north announced they will put forth a single candidate to challenge Jonathan.

CNN's Christian Purefoy contributed to this report.