[QODLink]
Africa
Nigerian president nominates VP
Nomination of Sambo, a governor from north, must be approved by houses of parliament.
Last Modified: 13 May 2010 20:54 GMT
Jonathan has neither confirmed or denied he will run for the presidency in 2011 [AFP]

Goodluck Jonathan, Nigeria's president, has nominated Namadi Sambo, a Muslim governor of the northern Kaduna state, to serve as the country's vice president.

Government sources said on Thursday that Jonathan had picked Sambo to be his deputy after a long deliberation the night before.

In order to be appointed, Sambo's nomination must be approved by both houses of parliament.

Jonathan, a former vice president, was sworn into the presidency last week after Umaru Yar'Adua, the late Nigerian president, died following a long bout of heart and kidney ailments.

He will be the head of state until next year's poll in May in order to fulfill what would have been the rest of Yar'Adua's term. 

Under an unwritten power-sharing agreement within the ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP), the presidency should rotate every two terms between the predominantly Muslim north and Christian-majority south.

The convention was introduced in order to avoid an imbalance of power between the two regions.

'Political turmoil'

The president's decision to select Sambo, a relative newcomer in the Nigerian political arena, has surprised many analysts.    

Jonathan has not ruled himself out of running for president, although he said in April that he wanted at least three months to see how his reforms are carried out.

But a bid for the presidency by Jonathan, a Christian from the south, would be highly controversial because it would be widely seen as upsetting the geopolitical balance of power.

Yvonne Ndege, Al Jazeera's correspondent in Abuja, the Nigerian capital, said: "There has been a lot of political turmoil about who the vice president nominee should be.

"The reason being is because in many people's eyes, whoever Jonathan chose to nominate would be an indication of whether Jonathan himself intends to run for the presidency in 2011.

"The nominee [Sambo] is perceived by many as one that will work with Jonathan and will not oppose his potential desire to run for president in 2011.

"[Sambo] may not be of the Nigerian elite, but he is a candidate from Nigeria's Muslim north, the same region the late Yar'Adua came from."

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Nearly half of Canadians have suffered inappropriate advances on the job - and the political arena is no exception.
Featured
Women's rights activists are demanding change after Hanna Lalango, 16, was gang-raped on a bus and left for dead.
Buried in Sweden's northern forest, Sorsele has welcomed many unaccompanied kids who help stabilise a town exodus.
A look at the changing face of North Korea, three years after the death of 'Dear Leader'.
While some fear a Muslim backlash after café killings, solidarity instead appears to be the order of the day.
Victims spared by the deadly disease are reporting blindness and other unexpected post-Ebola health issues.