News / Africa

Analyst Critical of Nigerian Information Minister's Memo

Political scientist Kabiru Mato of the University of Abuja says Minister Dora Akunyili should step down if she's convinced that the absence of ailing President Umaru Yar'Adua is unconstitutional, as she allegedly wrote in a memo

Nigerian President Umaru Yar'Adua
Nigerian President Umaru Yar'Adua

Multimedia

Audio
  • University of Abuja political scientist Kabiru Mato spoke with Butty

TEXT SIZE - +
James Butty

According to the Daily Independent and other Lagos-based newspapers, Nigerian Information Minister Dora Akunyili has said that the extended absence of ailing President Umaru Yar'Adua is harming Nigeria.  President Umaru Yar'Adua has been undergoing medical treatment in Saudi Arabia for several months. At a cabinet meeting last Wednesday, Akunyili reportedly urged the ailing president to temporarily hand over power to Vice President Goodluck Jonathan. Until this week's allegations against Akunyili, cabinet support for the president appeared to be unanimous.

Professor Kabiru Mato, director of the political science department at the University of Abuja, said he’s not surprised by minister Akunyili’s alleged statement because, according to him, it’s all part of politicians trying to position themselves.

“If it is true that the minister has served the council with a contrary memo, I would think that perhaps firstly the minister is not part of that unanimous council resolution of seven days earlier, or the minister was later convinced by either her inner circle or associates to disassociate herself with an earlier resolution of council,” he said.

Mato said some political forces in Nigeria were misconstruing President Yar’Adua’s absence from the country because "they desire to walk in the President’s shoes" so that they may gain access to the country’s resources.

The Nigerian cabinet has twice passed resolutions saying Mr. Yar'Adua is fit to govern despite the president's more-than-two-month stay in Saudi Arabia for medical treatment.

Mato said Information Minister Akunyili’s reported memo does not mean that the cabinet is split.

He said Akunyili should tender her resignation if she is convinced that the president’s long absence is unconstitutional.

“It shouldn’t be seen as a split against the cabinet. I think the minister should go ahead and take the most honorable position by perhaps resigning her appointment as a minister if she’s convinced that what obtains now is unconstitutional,” Mato said.

Mato said Nigeria’s foreign affairs minister also told journalists Thursday that the cabinet was united and that it stood by its resolution that President Yar’Adua was indeed capable of continuing his mandate following his medical treatment.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid