Acting Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has moved decisively and rapidly to unify the Government under him, dismissing -- on March 17, 2010 -- the entire Cabinet which had been appointed by the now-incapacitated Pres. Umaru Musa Yar'Adua. This followed his move, the week before, to appoint Lt.-Gen. Aliyu Mohammed Gusau as the new National Security Advisor, a post which oversees all the intelligence and security services as well as the Armed Forces.
Sources told GIS/Defense & Foreign Affairs late on March 18, 2010, said that about half the ministers would be invited back into the new Cabinet.
The new cabinet would be announced within two weeks, and this should end the divided loyalties of the outgoing cabinet members, many of whom owed allegiance to Yar'Adua, and even to former Pres. Olusegun Obasanjo.
GIS/Defense & Foreign Affairs was able to confirm late on March 18, 2010, that Pres. Yar'Adua is still, in fact, alive, and on frequent kidney dialysis. However, given the fact that he has been in deteriorating health from this condition for a number of years, and the fact that doctors were unsure whether he would have even survived the past few days, there is now no question of him returning to office.
Acting Pres. Jonathan, who has taken over the function of Head-of-State and Head-of-Government, does not have time on his side. There are strong pressures to pretend that Pres. Yar'Adua is still recovering, and merely waiting to be restored to health and to office. The body which would ratify a transition of full power to Vice-Pres. Jonathan -- now Acting President -- is the Senate which must act to confirm a successor if the National Executive Council pronounces the President no longer fit to hold office, but if the President is declared no longer capable of holding office, and the full authority of the Presidency is passed to Dr Jonathan by Senate vote, then the office of President of the Senate could -- under existing political party practice (within the ruling People's Democratic Party) -- rotate to a senator from a different region.
If the Vice-President was to move from his additional duties as Acting President to President, then a new Vice-President would need to be chosen. Meanwhile, there is still considerable in-fighting among the various Abuja power groups, and particularly within the group around the extremely ambitious and avaricious Mrs Turai Yar'Adua. No Nigerian First Lady has been able to wield the power which Mrs Yar'Adua amassed rapidly because of the declining health of her husband, and many orders were sent out by her in his name.
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