New govt for Nigeria

LAGOS - Nigeria's acting president, Goodluck Jonathan, was in consultations yesterday over a new government, a day after he asserted his authority and dissolved the cabinet he acquired from his ailing predecessor.

LAGOS - Nigeria's acting president, Goodluck Jonathan, was in consultations yesterday over a new government, a day after he asserted his authority and dissolved the cabinet he acquired from his ailing predecessor.

Naming a new government in Nigeria usually takes weeks, but given that elections are due in less than one year, observers say a fresh government could emerge in a matter of days, subject to senate approval.

Jonathan's spokesperson Ima Niboro said cabinet dissolution was designed "to inject fresh blood and bring greater vigour to governance".

Sources said Jonathan had already started consultations prior to Wednesday, and that he appeared to have the backing of some powerful figures in the country.

Most of the prior 42-member cabinet are expected to be retained, however, sources in the presidency said.

The cabinet appointed by ailing President Umaru Yar'Adua has been divided since he was taken ill in November and travelled abroad for treatment.

Jonathan's decision to dissolve the government comes at a tense time following Muslim-Christian violence in the north and renewed unrest in the oil-rich Niger Delta in the south. - Sapa-AFP

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