Nigeria

Jonathan proposes pro-reform Nigerian cabinet

A woman walks past the federal secretariat  in Abuja
A woman walks past the federal secretariat in Abuja Reuters

The Nigerian Senate has unveiled a list of 33 ministerial nominees submitted by acting president Goodluck Jonathan, a week after he sacked the entire cabinet. The list includes MPs from the old government and mirrors Jonathan’s proclaimed intention to establish a pro-reform government.

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Jonathan will keep nine nominees who were previously sitting in ailing President Umaru Yar’Adua’s cabinet. But he is likely to appoint many new faces, including London-based Goldman Sachs banker Olushegun Aganga.

The list of 33 names follows months of political paralysis in the African oil-rich giant. It is not clear yet when the rest of the names will be unveiled.

Osman Mohamed, a political scientist at Abuja University, says Jonathan has struck a balance between old and new faces.

“He is someone who has come to peace with reality and understands power, and he wants to use it in the very little time he has,” he told RFI.

He said Jonathan brought back the nine Yar’Adua followers into the cabinet so that his critics “can not really reach the conclusion that this man has a cabinet to himself and wants to create power by all means.”

Jonathan dissolved the cabinet as he moved to assert his authority after taking power from Yar'Adua six weeks ago.

In compliance with Nigeria’s constitution, each of the country’s 36 states is expected to be represented in the new cabinet. Local media said the acting president was under immense pressure and lobbying from Yar'Adua allies to push through some of their nominees.

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