Nigerians have high hopes

2011-05-29 08:35
Abuja - Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan begins his first full term at the helm of Africa's most populous nation on Sunday with expectations running high that he will push ahead with reforms and try to heal regional rifts.

Heads of state from across Africa, foreign dignitaries, religious leaders and traditional rulers are due to attend a swearing-in ceremony and military parade in the capital to mark the start of his four-year term.

The former zoology student won elections last month which, while far from perfect, were deemed to have reflected the will of the people in a nation which had known virtually nothing but military rule and rigged votes for the past half-century.

Jonathan emerged from the polls with a credible mandate, having won 59% of the vote, but with his ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP) chastened by a weaker parliamentary majority and the loss of several powerful state governorships.

Many Nigerians said they felt their vote had counted for the first time.

The onus to perform is now on Jonathan, who inherited the presidency last year when his predecessor Umaru Yar'Adua died.

The vote threw religious and ethnic fault lines into sharp relief.

Hundreds were killed in rioting in parts of the mostly Muslim north after his victory and his main rival, former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari, has challenged the result.

His relationship with his opponents will be key if Jonathan, a southern Christian, is to galvanise support for reforms and govern strongly.

Helicopters

The first big test will be his choice of ministers.

Jonathan is the first head of state from the restive oil-producing Niger Delta and also carries the high expectations of his home region on his shoulders.

He brokered an amnesty in 2009 which ended years of attacks on oil facilities, but thousands of former gunmen remain without jobs.

Jonathan will also have to deal with the growing threat from radical Islamist sect Boko Haram in remote northeastern Nigeria, which has been carrying out almost daily killings and fire bombings of police stations with impunity.

Car bombs, claimed by a militant group from the Niger Delta, killed at least 10 people close to an independence day parade in Abuja last October and security was tightened in the capital days ahead of Sunday's ceremony.

Joint police and army checkpoints were set up on all roads into the city and helicopters buzzed overhead.

Jonathan is serving what would have been the second term of late northern president Yar'Adua and there is an expectation among the northern elite that at the next elections in four years, a northern candidate will take the ruling party ticket.


Read more on:    goodluck jonathan  |  nigeria  |  west africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
2 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
SPONSORED CONTENT
When is a mountain more than just a mountain? 2014-12-18 07:26

When it’s an adventure! A group of Old Mutual employees found out how much is enough courage, endurance and camaraderie to take on Africa's highest peak.

/News
 

13 summer safety tips

Summer time and the burning is easy. Get some great tips to ensure sunburn doesn't spoil your holiday!

 
 

I love summer.24

Stay in shape this summer
Ultimate fails compilation 2014
This sleeping bulldog is you during the holidays
This man's reaction to his Christmas present is priceless!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

30% off the bestselling books

Save big on the most captivating reads of 2014. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You are in an innovative mood and may want to break out and do your own thing today. The Moon moves into Aries which emphasizes...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.