News / Africa

    Expectations High for Nigeria's New Leader

    Multimedia

    Audio

    Nigeria's new president has less than one year to finish out the term of Umaru Musa Yar'Adua, who died last week at the age of 58.

    President Jonathan says his brief administration will aspire to uphold the values that Mr. Yar'Adua represented including a commitment to good governance, fighting corruption and enacting electoral reform before next year's nationwide vote.

    Former military ruler Yakubu Gowon says electoral reform should top the new president's agenda.

    "I hope that Mr. President will concentrate on ensuring that we have free and fair elections in the country and therefore reorganizing the election machinery to make sure they are able to deliver," he said.



    President Yar'Adua came to power in a 2007 vote that he said was seriously flawed.  So he set out to make changes that are not yet complete.

    Human rights activist Joseph Adekpe says electoral reform and corruption should be the focus of President Jonathan's work because they are the issues that most directly affect the lives of the Nigerian people.

    "He could do something within this short period.  Let him prove himself.  You can hear of this one-man-one vote campaign.  If he could give us a good election, that would be a good," he said. "Then he should emphasize more on this anti-corruption drive.  He should not be intimidated by any powers."

    Attorney Simeon Efenudu says fighting corruption in Nigeria begins with an honest cabinet.

    "We pray to God that those people who he has selected to work with him should be good people who will share his aspirations and make sure that they move Nigeria forward," he expressed.

    In his Cabinet, President Jonathan has taken personal responsibility for boosting electricity.  Many people in Africa's largest oil producer still do not have reliable power supplies.  Efenudu says improving electricity is central to economic development.

    "If he is able to bring power, you see unemployment will be drastically reduced in Nigeria because there are many artisans who want to work, but they don't have power with which to work.  They can't buy generators to work. Many industries, small-scale industries that people want to set up, they can't set them up because they can't power them," Efenudu stated.

    Mr. Jonathan had already replaced much of President Yar'Adua's Cabinet, in his capacity as acting president.  So his formal swearing-in, last Thursday, brought no substantive change at the top of Nigeria's government.

    Former ruling-party ward chairman for Delta State Gabriel Osekene says, if President Jonathan has surrounded himself with good people, he should be confident enough to listen to their advice.

    "He should have a very good cabinet, a very good executive cabinet that can advise him wisely," Osekene said. "And, he should heed their advice, positive advice as regards the way forward for the administration."

    For Osekene, the new president's biggest priority should be securing the gains of an amnesty that President Yar'Adua reached with Niger Delta militants. "In the issue of Niger Delta, this amnesty deal, try as much as possible to make it work," he said.

    Niger Delta activists say the federal government has profited from the region's oil wealth, without reinvesting in its people.  President Jonathan says he is moving to revitalize that amnesty plan to protect oil exports, better develop the region's infrastructure and ensure that former gunmen are properly reintegrated into the workforce.

    Securing the Niger Delta amnesty, fighting corruption, enacting electoral reform, boosting electricity:  it is a lot to do in less than one year.  Mr. Jonathan says he knows Nigerians have high expectations. That is why he is calling for bold action from his cabinet and says he will tolerate no distractions.

    You May Like

    Russia's Expat Community Shrinking

    Russia's troubled economy, tensions with West have led hundreds of thousands of foreigners to leave for better opportunities

    Accelerating the Push Against Islamic State: What Will Work?

    Experts stress need to step up military action, address root causes of Muslims' disaffection, counter IS social media messages in a massive way

    Experts: N. Korean Abductions Sought to Halt Brain Drain

    Pyongyang abducted about 3,800 South Koreans and more than a dozen Japanese nationals in late 1970s

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

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees with Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees with Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.