Nigeria's ruling party says President Goodluck Jonathan is its candidate for February 2015 elections.

Jonathan has been criticized for a 5-year-old Islamic uprising and the government's failure to rescue more than 200 schoolgirls kidnapped by Islamic extremists.

His candidacy already has fractured the party amid complaints he has broken an unwritten rule to rotate leadership between Muslims and Christians.

Jonathan said he was "overwhelmed" by the announcement Thursday.

Nigeria is Africa's most populous and prosperous nation and it's divided almost equally among 160 million people with mainly Muslim northerners and Christians in the south. Jonathan is a Christian from a minority southern tribe.

Many northerners rioted when he was elected in 2011.

He took office in 2010 when he was vice president and President Umaru Yar'Adua.