Nigeria's President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua is reportedly waiting for the senate to resume before
naming his much anticipated new cabinet. At the same time the country's Supreme
Court begins preliminary hearings Thursday about the last disputed
presidential election. The hearing could either force President Yar'Adua from
office or strengthen his presidency.
analysts say President Yar'Adua's decision to reshuffle his cabinet is likely
to remove a layer of political uncertainty expressed by some Nigerians who
claim his government has been docile. Kabiru Mato is a political science
professor at Nigeria's University of Abuja. He tells reporter Peter Clottey
from the capital, some Nigerians are skeptical about the president's governing
"There has been a lot of
apprehension throughout Nigeria on the proposed cabinet reshuffle that the
president is likely to engage in. one fundamental thing that I think a lot of
people are taking for granted is that I cannot remember at any point in time
that President Yar'Adua himself coming out to say he is going to make
fundamental changes in his cabinet. And like I keep saying if antecedent is
anything to go by Nigerians should not expect any radical transformation of the
cabinet. That is to say we should not expect that we are going to have some
major changes in the cabinet," Mato said.
He said the announcement
from the president's office was aimed at reassuring Nigerians that the
government is on their side.
course the statement by Mr. Olusegun Adeniyi (president's spokesman) or from
the presidency simply clears the air on expectations of Nigerians. Apparently
it's no longer news that things are not moving here that the government is not
being felt much by Nigerians. So, there is this assumption that perhaps the
failure of government to meet the aspirations of the people is anchored on the
inability of members of cabinet to really put to practical terms the agenda of
government," he said.
said Nigerians are unsure how the president is running the affairs of the
see people have different strategies of governance. I think it is his own strategy
is that strategy that he has probably adopted in his native Kaduna at the first
eight years as a governor. Obviously, he is not someone you can push around, he
is not always in a hurry and he takes his time and perhaps a lot of Nigerians
are not finding that strategy as an effective method of addressing the problems
of Nigerians. Some say the government seems not to be making any headway in its
drive to providing basic social, political and economic amenities that are
glaringly lacking in Nigeria nine years after the nation has netted billions
and billions of dollars from the search that are being recorded in the
international oil market," Mato pointed out.
said Nigerians give the current administration in a more positive light than
the previous government headed by President Olusegun Obasanjo.
"One fact that every Nigerian will tell you is
that there is a lot of humility in President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua. Nobody doubts
that aspiration nobody doubts that reality. Nigerians will also tell you that
this is the first time in several years that we have a leader who is serious,
serious in the sense that he seems to have some measure of respect for the
opinion of Nigerians. I mean you cannot have democracy in an atmosphere rancor
and confusion where the rule of law is completely debased. President Yar'Adua
has tried as much as possible to respect court orders as much as possible to
show Nigerians that you can still be the president of Nigeria and remain a very
humble personality without all those exotic ways typical of Nigerian
presidents," he said.