News / Africa

Nigeria Senate Sets Time Limit for President's Absence

The Nigeria senate has adopted a amendment to the constitution setting a time limit for presidents to formally notify the parliament of their inability to perform their duties.

Eighty-nine senators voted to amend a section of the Nigerian constitution which imposed no limit on the period of time a sitting president can be away from office on grounds of inability to perform his duties or on vacation. Only two senators voted against it.

The amendment sets a 14-day limit for the president to inform parliament of his inability to perform his roles or the parliament can vote to appoint the vice president as acting leader.

A protest in Abuja over a power vacuum created by the absence of President Umaru Yar'Adua, who was away for 7 weeks receiving treatment in Saudi Arabia (File)
A protest in Abuja over a power vacuum created by the absence of President Umaru Yar'Adua, who was away for 7 weeks receiving treatment in Saudi Arabia (File)

The senate vote was instigated by the three-month absence of President Umaru Yar'Adua for medical treatment in Saudi Arabia. The political vacuum and constitutional crisis the president's long absence generated compelled the Nigerian parliament to pass a resolution authorizing vice president Goodluck Jonathan to perform the president's duties in acting capacity.

A statement by President Yar'Adua's office on Wednesday said Goodluck Jonathan would remain in charge while the president recovers. The statement however referred to acting president Jonathan as vice president, providing some indication that the president does not recognize him as the acting president.

Lagos-based lawyer and political activist, Supo Sonibare, says Nigeria needs a healthy leader who can exercise full executive powers to tackle the numerous challenges facing Africa's most populous country.

"There are issues that the president who is well needs to address. Issues about the stability of this country, issues about the Niger Delta, issues about power, issues about even good governance," he explained.  "There are too many issues that require the attention of a president who is well. We cannot dwell on a president who is unwell. If they were to revert back to the president being president and the vice president just being vice president, the vice president cannot exercise the powers of the president."

The amendment can only become law if approved by parliaments in 24 of Nigeria's 36 states.

You May Like

UN Ambassador Power Highlights Plight of Women Prisoners

She launches the 'Free the 20' campaign, aimed at profiling women being deprived of their freedom around the world More

Satellite Launch Sparks Spectacular Light Show

A slight delay in a satellite launch lit up the Florida sky early this morning More

Fleeing IS Killings in Syria, Family Reaches Bavaria

Exhausted, scared and under-nourished, Khalil and Maha's tale mirrors those of thousands of refugees from war-torn countries who have left their homes in the hopes of finding a better life 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.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs