NIGERIA'S NEW PRESIDENT & A NEW VP?

Friday, May 7, 2010

One day after the unfortunate passing of Nigeria's President YarAdua, Goodluck Jonathan was sworn in as President. Although sworn in at 9:30 am, Jonathan failed to make it to the afternoon burial of the former President. He was not the only important political figure to miss the event, however, as former President Obasanjo was also absent. Despite this, and as was to be expected, the jostling for who will become the new Vice President has begun in earnest. Reports indicate that Jonathan is set to announce his deputy on Tuesday, May 11th. Who Jonathan picks could tell a lot about which direction Nigeria will go in and whether Jonathan will run for the Presidency in 2011.

DECIDING ON A NEW VICE PRESIDENT
Section 146(3) of the Constitution stipulates that the new President must select a Vice President and submit his or her name to the National Assembly for confirmation. As such, certain individuals are now rumored to be top contenders including former EFCC head, Nuhu Ribadu (the Federal Government dropped all charges against him on May 6, 2010), governor of Jigawa State and norther, Sule Lamido, current National Security Adviser Aliyu Gusau, and other prominent Northerners. One non-Muslim, but Northerner, that has been mentioned as a possible Vice President is the current President of the Senate, David Mark. These men all played crucial roles in easing the path for Jonathan to become acting President.

The new Vice President will have an opportunity to run as a Presidential candidate in the upcoming 2011 elections. As such, whoever is selected for the position will have even more power than an ordinary V.P. given the fact that elections are right around the corner. Assuming that this person were to run and win the Presidency, his or her time as Vice President would be primarily used to make a case for electoral support amongst Nigeria's elites and the voting public. As there remain questions about the 'agreement' that power should fluctuate between the North and South, many are watching closely to see if Jonathan will select a Northern Vice President that will then be poised to become President and satisfy demands from the Northern elite.

WILL JONATHAN RUN FOR PRESIDENT IN 2011?
There is, however, the question of whether Jonathan intends to run for President and not simply complete Yar'Adua's first term. If that is the case, it will be interesting to see if he will pick a Vice President that will stand little chance at running in the Presidential elections. Doing such would hearken back to the great debate from 2007 when former President Obasanjo handpicked Yar'Adua as his successor. Many speculated that Obasanjo picked the sick Yar'Adua knowing fully well that the newer President would be unable to complete his term, as has now come to pass. If Jonathan were to pick a Vice President that would not have the necessary qualifications or support to possibly win the Presidential office, that could be a sign that he plans to stay on as President.

Nevertheless, Jonathan has been very careful to deflect any questions about a possible Presidential run and has stressed that he intends to focus on ensuring the systems and structures necessary for credible elections. That task will be a difficult one, but the recent firing of the previous INEC Chair, Maurice Iwu, means that Jonathan might just be one step closer to achieving his promise. Irregardless of who becomes the next Vice President of Nigeria, there is plenty of work to be done. He or she will be very busy from day one working with Jonathan to do the things Nigerians need.

6 Curiosities. Add Yours.:

Anonymous said...

THE BEST BET IS RIBADU. WE NEED A TOTAL BREAK FROM EX MILITARIES WHO SEIZED OUR POLITICAL LIFE in recent years.
ALSO SOMEONE SAID TELEPHONE IS NOT FOR THE POOR
can not now have the poor at heart as VP.
RIBADU HAD BEEN ON THE SIDE OF GOOD GOVERNANCE and will deliver.LET GOODLUCK REBUILD WITH RIBADU DAVID FADARE,REGINA

Buhari said...

RIBADU HAS NEVER IDENTIFIED WITH THE POOR SO HE DOESN'T KNOW WHAT IT TAKES TO BE POOR, WE NEED SOMEONE WHO IS CIVIL TO BE OUR VICE PRESIDENT, SO I SUGGEST YAYALE AHMED WHO HAS BEEN IN THE CIVIL SERVICE FOR A VERY LONG TIME FOR THE OFFICE OF THE VP. BUHARI OROGHO FROM ABUJA.

Beauty said...

All those jostling for power in Nigeria, especially the vice presidential slot are hungry Hyenas. They are hard-bitten, greedy, unscrupulous bad-hats who would grab their grandmother's back yard given half a chance. Again, it is all about legacy and as our so called leaders continue to miss the point, our history continue out of good old Nollywood. Never mind that District 9 was on point. The cannibals out of the cabal appeared to have done it once again. President Goodluck Jonathan and former President OBJ were conspicuously absent from the burial of Late President Umaru Yar'Adua. Hold the front page?

Geebee said...

The Nigerian political scene continues to strike me as a network of conspiracies. Let's see whom Jonathan finally picks as his vice on tuesday. . . I wonder why the person must be from the North. The so-called political zoning thingy has further worsened the political situation in my opinion. I think Nuhu Ribadu might be unripe for a VP position. I'd rather he was placed in charge of INEC. Meanwhile i suspect a bad romance between President Jonathan and ex-President Obasanjo. There just might be so much we do not know now. Sigh!

Geebee said...

The Nigerian political scene continues to strike me as a network of conspiracies. Let's see whom Jonathan finally picks as his vice on tuesday. . . I wonder why the person must be from the North. The so-called political zoning thingy has further worsened the political situation in my opinion. I think Nuhu Ribadu might be unripe for a VP position. I'd rather he was placed in charge of INEC. Meanwhile i suspect a bad romance between President Jonathan and ex-President Obasanjo. There just might be so much we do not know now. Sigh!

I Love Philippines! said...

Whoever the choice of Nigerians, I wish success and peace for the country.

I Love Philippines Too

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