Nigeria cabinet dissolved

Acting leader Goodluck Jonathan dismisses ailing president's ministers.

    Goodluck Jonathan has been Nigeria's acting
    president for just over a month [AFP]

    The president travelled to Saudi Arabia in November last year where he was treated for acute pericarditis and though he returned to Nigeria on February 24, he has not been seen in public.

    Leadership crisis

    "It had been rumoured that acting president Goodluck Jonathan would get rid of Yar'Adua's ministers, remember the cabinet had all been appointed by the president," Yvonne Ndege, Al Jazeera's correspondent in Abuja, the Nigerian capital, said.

    In depth

      Profile: Umaru Yar'Adua
      Profile: Goodluck Jonathan
      Riz Khan: Nigeria's leadership crisis

    "This is a signal for many that Goodluck Jonathan is perhaps about to put in place his own men, his own women, his own team.

    "It was felt by many Nigerians that the cabinet was basically packed to the rafters with Yar'Adua loyalists who weren't doing the job they were supposed to be doing, or rather doing a good enough job."

    Yar'Adua's absence has caused a near constitutional crisis in Nigeria, with protests held in the capital demanding he step aside.

    The president's supporters have also held rallies in his favour.

    Balancing act

    Jonathan's acting presidency has been controversial in Nigeria as the presidency reflects a regional balancing act between the Muslim north and the Christian south.

    The role traditionally switches between the two sides with every election.

    Yar'Adua is a Muslim from the north while Jonathan is a Christian from the south, leaving many of Yar'Adua's supporters unhappy that their candidate has not seen a full term in power.

    The political turmoil has come at a time when central Nigeria has been hit by ethnic and religious violence.

    Hundreds of people have been killed in several clashes between Muslim herdsmen and Christian villagers around the city of Jos.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    Heron Gate mass eviction: 'We never expected this in Canada'

    Hundreds face mass eviction in Canada's capital

    About 150 homes in one of Ottawa's most diverse and affordable communities are expected to be torn down in coming months

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    In 1959, a year before Nigeria's independence, a 23-year-old student helped colour the country's identity.