News / Africa

New Nigerian President Considering Choices for New Vice President

President Goodluck Jonathan is from southern Nigeria and is expected to nominate a northern politician to maintain the country's regional balance of power.

Multimedia

Audio

Nigeria's new president is expected to nominate a new vice president in the coming week. That person could quickly become the frontrunner for next year's presidential election under an informal power-sharing deal.

President Goodluck Jonathan's choice as deputy may show what he is thinking about next year's vote.

Mr. Jonathan is from southern Nigeria and is expected to nominate a northern politician to maintain the country's regional balance of power. Northern and southern leaders have an informal arrangement that rotates the presidency every two terms.

Because Mr. Jonathan is filling out the end of the first term of the late northern president Umaru Yar'Adua, that arrangement would preclude him from running for president himself. But there is no constitutional provision stopping him, and he has not ruled out doing so.

So if Mr. Jonathan chooses a strong northern vice president, he will be seen as abiding by that arrangement because that deputy would then become the ruling party's frontrunner. But if Mr. Jonathan chooses a weaker northern vice president, many here will see that as evidence that he is considering his own run for the presidency.

Among those in the group of stronger choices are Senate President David Mark, National Security Advisor Aliyu Gusau and the man who currently holds Nigeria's third-most powerful post: Secretary to the Government of the Federation Mamud Ahmed Yayale.

President Jonathan has already started meeting with with former heads of state, governors, and ruling party leaders to discuss the vice presidential post.

Cross River State Governor Liyel Imoke says they will help the president in whatever way he thinks best. "As governors, our responsibility is to provide support where necessary. Where there is some consultation, of course we will be glad to provide whatever advice is required," he said.

Former military ruler Yakubu Gowon says the next step in Nigeria's political process should be handled with the same calm as this past week's transfer of power following President Yar'Adua's death.

"This has been done very peacefully and orderly," he said. "Now the tasks and responsibilities for Mr. President are for him to do his best for the country as he has done in the past."

Asked about potential vice presidential choices, Information Minister Dora Akunyili said only that President Jonathan will choose a team in the nation's best interests. "President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan will build solidly on the successes of President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua as promised," he said.

Among those in the group of weaker vice presidential choices are Jigawa State Governor Sule Lamido, the former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Nuhu Ribadu, and the former minister of the Federal Capital Territory Nasir El-Rufai.

While some members of President Jonathan's team say he will present his choice for approval by the National Assembly as soon as Tuesday, ruling party chairman Vincent Ogbulafor says he believes the selection process will take longer.

"I think it is too early. We will flow with the president, President Goodluck Jonathan, and when he is ready. At least he has declared seven days mourning for President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua. Let's respect the dead. After that we can now talk of the vice president," he said.

Ogbulafor has said publicly that President Jonathan will not be the next ruling party's nominee  because of the regional power-sharing agreement. But Ogbulafor is facing federal corruption charges at a time when President Jonathan assumes greater control of the party following Mr. Yar'Adua's death.

Political reforms could weaken the party power of state governors and potentially allow for independent candidates, which would open the way for President Jonathan to run on his own if the ruling party chooses a northern nominee.

You May Like

China May Be Biggest Winner From Ukraine Crisis

Missile sales, oil and gas shipments are among many areas that may drive Beijing and Moscow closer together in coming years More

Obama Faces Chaotic World, Limits of Power

Current foreign policy issues bring into focus challenges for US policymakers who are mindful of Americans' waning appetite for overseas military engagements More

SADC Meeting Lesotho Officials to Resolve Stalemate

Official says regional bloc has been engaged with leaders in Lesotho to resolve political disagreement that led to coup attempt 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.
West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015i
X
Carol Pearson
August 30, 2014 7:14 PM
A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assault

After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Growing Business Offers Paint with a Twist of Wine

Two New Orleans area women started a small business seven years ago with one thing in mind: to help their neighbors relieve the stress of coping with a hurricane's aftermath. Today their business, which pairs painting and a little bit of wine, has become one of the fastest growing franchises across the U.S. VOA’s June Soh met the entrepreneurs at their newest franchise location in the Washington suburbs.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.

AppleAndroid