Nigerian Acting President Goodluck Jonathan Dissolves Cabinet

Political power play is on display in Nigeria as acting President Goodluck Jonathan made his first major move to replace the existing government of on-leave President Umaru Yar’Adua. Jonathan dissolved the Yar’Adua-appointed Cabinet in a move seen as the acting president’s way to assert power. The Cabinet members will be temporarily replaced by permanent secretaries, but Jonathan is expected to come up soon with their permanent replacements.

Information Minister Dora Akunyili said Jonathan did not give his reason for dissolving the Cabinet, although a reshuffle had been expected over the past several weeks. The move comes amid sectarian violence in and around the city of Jos, where hundreds were killed in an apparent war between Muslims and Christians. The government has been under pressure to step up and control the volatile peace and order situation in the country.

Jonathan, who was appointed acting president in early February to fill a power vacuum left by Yar’Adua when he went to Saudi Arabia for medical treatment, must submit a list of new Cabinet members to the National Assembly.

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