Nigeria, the acclaimed leader of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), lost over the weekend as South Africa’s choice for the leadership of the African Union (AU) emerged winner after four voting rounds; defeating West Africa’s candidate in Addis Ababa.
Nkosuzana Dlamini-Zuma, South Africa’s Home Affairs Minister, on Sunday became the first female Chairperson of the AU Commission, ending the long battle between her and Jean Ping, the incumbent, who contested for re-election.
At the last AU Summit in January in Addis-Ababa, ECOWAS had declared its support for the incumbent Chairperson, Mr. Ping of Gabon; with Nigeria at the forefront of rallying support for the West African candidate.
The News Agency of Nigeria in Addis Ababa reports that Ms. Dlamini-Zuma won the fourth round with 37 votes after the withdrawal of Mr. Ping after the third round.
During the first round of voting by 50 Heads of State and Government, Mr. Ping won 24 votes and Ms. Dlamini-Zuma 27.
She won 22 votes during the second round leaving Mr. Ping with 22 votes.
In the third round, the South African candidate won 33 votes while her opponent’s votes depleted to 18.
Ms. Dlamini-Zuma, 63, is the ex-wife of South African President, Jacob Zuma.