Nigerian Vice President Takes Over Presidency
The Vice President of Nigeria was sworn in as Acting President after the country’s senate forced ailing President Umaru Yar’Adua to transfer powers until he can return.
Goodluck Jonathan accepted the position hours after the senate voted to force Yar’Adua to hand over powers. He will immediately take the powers of the office of the president including being commander-in-chief of the nation’s army.
Under the constitution, the vice president can assume all the executive powers once a president formally informs parliament of his absence. Yar’Adua has been out of the country since November 23. He is in Saudi Arabia seeking medical treatment for his heart condition.
Yar’Adua did not inform parliament of his absence even if it has urged him to issue the information as early as January 27 since important government matters are already left unattended for a very long time. The senate used the January 12 BBC interview of Yar’Adua as a basis of forcing the powers to be transferred to Jonathan. In the interview, Yar’Adua said that he will return to work once the doctors cleared him.
The parliament insisted that Jonathan will cede powers once Yar’Adua returns from his medical treatment.