ABUJA Jan 30 Eleven Nigerian senators have
defected to the main opposition coalition, in a largely expected
move but one which further weakens President Goodluck Jonathan's
ruling party ahead of elections next year.
Last year, five powerful state governors and 37 members of
the House of Representatives moved across to the All Progressive
Congress (APC), building the greatest threat to Jonathan's
People's Democratic Party since it swept to power in 1999 at the
end of military rule.
A document confirming the switch to the APC seen by Reuters
on Thursday shows signatures next to the names of 11 senators
who are known opponents of Jonathan.
The defections are expected to contribute to the most
closely fought elections since the end of military rule but the
power of incumbency is strong in Nigeria and Jonathan is still
clear favourite to win, if he chooses to run, analysts say.
Africa's second largest economy and top oil exporter is
growing as an investment destination but political upheaval is a
concern for investors, especially as elections often see a spike
in government spending and a fall in oil savings.
(Reporting by Tim Cocks; Writing by Joe Brock; Editing by