News / Africa

Nigeria's Acting President Says New Cabinet Will Improve Niger Delta

Nigeria's Acting President Goodluck Jonathan shakes hands with new minister of finance Olusegun Aganga in Abuja, 6 Apr 2010
Nigeria's Acting President Goodluck Jonathan shakes hands with new minister of finance Olusegun Aganga in Abuja, 6 Apr 2010

Multimedia

Audio
TEXT SIZE - +

Nigeria's acting president says his new Cabinet will improve security in the volatile Niger Delta, where years of violence have reduced Nigerian oil production.

Acting President Goodluck Jonathan says his Cabinet reflects the federal government's commitment to take bold steps to solve the nation's problems.

Chief among them is insecurity in the oil-rich Niger Delta as Mr. Jonathan named a former minister of state as the new Niger Delta minister and chose a new oil minister who is from the Delta.

Just last month, militants set off two bombs outside a meeting in the Delta that was meant to discuss an amnesty program through which thousands of gunmen have laid down their weapons in exchange for monthly payments, clemency, and the promise of employment.

Militants are frustrated with the pace of the program and say the government has not done enough to help people living in the area that generates the bulk of Nigeria's oil wealth.

The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta claimed responsibility for the bombings in Warri, warning of renewed attacks against Nigeria's oil industry if the government does not move quickly to improve conditions.

Raymond Gilpin, an associate vice president for sustainable economies at the U.S. Institute of Peace, says the Jonathan administration must reconsider its approach to the Niger Delta.

"First and foremost they should pay some attention to the political and socio-economic needs of the communities in the oil states," Gilpin said. "That would go a long way to defuse tensions and would go a long way to reduce the number of people who are involved in and benefit from piracy and oil theft."

Four years of sabotage and killing in the Niger Delta cut Nigeria's oil production by more than one-quarter. That production began to rebound following last year's amnesty program. Mr. Jonathan's challenge is keeping former militants engaged while preventing renewed violence from spreading.

The acting president travels to Washington next week for talks that are expected to include increasing cooperation on Niger Delta security.

When U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was in Abuja last August, she said Nigerian defense officials made "very promising" specific suggestions about how the U.S. military could help bring peace and stability to the Niger Delta.

The two countries this week renewed a binational commission that Secretary Clinton says will help strengthen their partnership on security and good governance.

"The commission will help us work together on issues of common concern and shared responsibility, and we hope it will support the aspirations of the Nigerian people for a peaceful, prosperous, stable democratic future," Clinton said.

President Umaru Yar'Adua brokered the Niger Delta amnesty plan. And his prolonged medical absence is one of the reasons it has stalled. Acting President Jonathan says he is committed to reviving that momentum to show the people of the Delta that the federal government is serious about improving their lives while protecting the flow of oil.

You May Like

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

Open Source Seeds Hit the Market, Raise Awareness

First open source seeds include 29 new varieties of broccoli, celery, kale, quinoa and other vegetables and grains 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.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid