News / Africa

Nigerian Lawmakers to Consider New Vice President

Architect Mohammed Namadi Sambo, possible choice for Vice President in Nigeria
Architect Mohammed Namadi Sambo, possible choice for Vice President in Nigeria

Nigerian lawmakers this week open confirmation hearings for a new vice president, following the death of President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua, earlier this month.

Nigeria's new president, Goodluck Jonathan, wants Kaduna state Governor Namadi Sambo to help him finish out the final year of President Yar'Adua's term.

It is a surprise choice, much as President Yar'Adua surprised many Nigerians by choosing Mr. Jonathan as his running mate for their 2007 election.

Like Mr. Yar'Adua, Mr. Jonathan bypassed better-known candidates for a quieter, less-obviously ambitious governor with a solid record of financial management.  And, like Mr. Yar'Adua, Mr. Jonathan chose a deputy from a different region to preserve Nigeria's sometimes-contentious balance of power.

As much as political opponents said Mr. Jonathan was imposed on President Yar'Adua by party leaders, so too has the choice of Governor Sambo raised questions about the influence of Nigeria's powerful state governors.

Political scientist Isitoah Ozoemene says President Jonathan's choices were limited.

"The governors of the states seem to have taken precedence," Ozoemene said. "What happens in Nigeria now is that what governors want, that is what must happen.  And, the governors have insisted that one of them must be made the vice president.  And, today, one of them is made the vice president.  So I would not be so daft to assume that it was a free selection."

Hope George chairs the national youth council in Nigeria's southern Delta state.

"There is no politician that does not have backing," George said. "But I want to believe he was not sponsored by anybody.  Goodluck just saw him among one as the best among the governors and I believe that is the right choice he has made."

Ovie Joseph is secretary to the ruling-party chairman of the Ughelli North local government area.  He says choosing a political deputy is always a political choice and that Governor Sambo's nomination is no different.

"The man who picked him knows why he was picked.  Politics is a game of interests," Joseph said. "People who are playing it have their own personal interests too."

Joseph says he is not concerned by suggestions that the governor was put forward by former military ruler Ibrahim Babangida, who says he is running for president next year.

"Even if anybody is behind this or other reasons are behind, the head is always there," Joseph said. "The one there (vice president) is just like a spare person. Unless the head is out, he can not disturb the system.  So I feel whether he is being sponsored by anybody or not, as long as the man Jonathan is there, he can always take care of the situation."

Preye Ketebu-Brown is chairman of the national youth council in President Jonathan's home, Bayelsa state.

"Very careful considerations and deliberations are always made to arrive at such decisions so that you don't hurt powers that be and so that the quality remains balanced and so that the country can always be seen to working toward one particular goal and not anybody's individual agenda," Ketebu-Brown said.

Nigeria's national assembly opens hearings on Governor Sambo Tuesday. With less than a year to go before new elections, Ozoemene says it should be a quick confirmation.

"There is very little time left in this administration," Ozoemene said. "And, so the best thing for them is to put away all their differences, all their personal goals and all their so-called sectional interests and simply give the president everything that he needs to work with.  And, once he has said this is the person I want to be vice president, they should oblige him."

Had President Jonathan chosen as his deputy a political heavyweight from northern Nigeria, that person would have immediately become the ruling-party's frontrunner for next year's vote, under a regional power sharing deal.

His choice of a northern governor with little nationwide experience makes it easier for Mr. Jonathan to run, himself, if he chooses to challenge the informal arrangement that alternates the presidency between northern and southern Nigeria every eight years.

You May Like

For Lebanon-based Refugees, Desperation Fuels Perilous Passage

In a war that has caused an estimated three million people to flee Syria, efforts to make perilous sea journey in search of asylum expected to increase More

South African Brewer Tackles Climate Change

Mega-brewer SAB Miller sent delegates to climate summit in Peru, says it is one of many private companies taking their own steps to fight climate change More

Indonesia Reports Increase in Citizens Joining Islamic State

Officials say more than 350 of its citizens are now in Syria or Iraq to fight with Islamic State - 50 more than last month 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.
Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?i
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
December 17, 2014 11:54 AM
The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.

All About America

AppleAndroid