Nigerian acting president dissolves cabinet   2010-03-18 00:46:51 FeedbackPrintRSS

Nigeria's acting president Goodluck Jonathan, seen here in 2007, after the surprise return from a hospital abroad by ailing President Umaru Yar'Adua sparked fears of a fresh leadership crisis. (Xinhua/AFP File Photo)

ABUJA, March 17 (Xinhua) -- Nigerian Acting Goodluck Jonathan has dissolves the Federal Executive Council (FEC) as part of efforts to rejuvenate his government, a competent source told Xinhua on Wednesday in the country's capital city Abuja.

The measure was designed to reposition and strengthen the administration for enhanced effectiveness in service delivery, the source added.

At the end of the meeting of the Federal Executive Council, Jonathan thanked the outgoing ministers for their services to the nation since the inception of the present administration, wishing them well in their future endeavors.

The source has earlier told Xinhua Jonathan is set to announce a minor cabinet reshuffle, noting that some ministers might be out of job after Wednesday's meeting of the Executive Council of the Federation.

The Nigerian National Assembly on Feb. 9 empowered Vice President Jonathan to take over for ill President Umaru Yar'Adua.

The decision of the House of Representatives came after the Senate endorsed a motion to empower Jonathan as acting president in the absence of Yar 'Adua.

The acting president has been under pressure to sack ministers who are not loyal to his administration as acting president.

On Feb. 10, he ordered the replacement of the country's former Minister of Justice Michael Aondoakaa after presiding over the council meeting. Jonathan also on March 8 appointed Aliyu Gusau as a new security adviser.

Retired Lt.-Gen. Gusau took the position from Sarki Mukhtar. The new national security adviser held the same position for former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

The following day Jonathan made a formal request to the Senate to appoint five new special advisers a day after he appointed a new National Security Adviser.

In a letter to the Senate, the acting president said the appointments are to compliment the exigencies of his new office and the jobs that it brought forward.

Nigeria, Africa's most populous country, was without President Yar'Adua for 93 days due to illness and this has raised serious anxieties locally and internationally about the state of Nigeria's progress.

The president returned to the country on Feb. 24, 93 days after his departure to Saudi Arabia to attend to his failing health.

The absence of the ailing Nigerian leader is said to be creating a confidence crisis in the economy, as prospective investors are not willing to take on the additional risk of not knowing what will become of their investments thereafter.

Yar' Adua left the country on Nov. 23 last year to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in search of a solution to his intractable medical condition.

Three days after his departure, it was announced that Yar'Adua was suffering from acute pericarditis, a condition characterized by the inflammation of the coverings of the heart.

There were concerns that matters requiring urgent attention of the president could suffer in his absence.

The concerns were intensified by an acute lack of information on his health and his failure to formally handover to Vice President Jonathan, as prescribed by the constitution. Worried by the lack of information on the president and the uncertainty about his health and date of return, many prominent Nigerians called for his resignation.

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