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

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology 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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More