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 Relatives of South Korean Ferry Victims Fire at Authorities

46 people are confirmed dead, but some 250 remain trapped inside sunken ferry More

War Legacy Haunts Vietnam, US Relations

$84 million project aims to clean up soil contaminated by Agent Orange More

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends 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.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid