Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has won ruling party primaries after running unopposed as an opposition coalition selects a challenger for February presidential elections.

The Feb. 14 vote is expected to be the most closely contested since decades of military rule ended in 1999 in Africa's most populous nation and its biggest oil producer.

Jonathan's victory early Thursday flouts an unwritten rule that the presidency should rotate between a Christian southerner like himself and a northern Muslim.

The opposition accuses Jonathan of not doing enough to end an Islamic uprising that has killed thousands and left 1.2 million homeless.

Opposition delegates are choosing Thursday between former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari and former vice president Atiku Abubakar.