Jonathan sworn-in as Nigeria`s new President

Last Updated: Thursday, May 6, 2010 - 19:28

Abuja: Acting incumbent Goodluck Jonathan
was Thursday sworn-in as the new President of Nigeria, marking
the country`s first peaceful transition of power following the
death of the nation`s elected leader Umaru Musa Yar`Adua.

Jonathan, who had been serving as acting president
since early February following the illness of President
Yar`Adua, was sworn-in by country`s chief justice Katsina Alu.

Soon after taking over the reins of power in a country
long plagued by military coups, the new President declared a
week-long national mourning in honour of the dead leader whom
he described as jewel on Nigeria`s crown.

58-year-old Yar`Adua, who long had suffered from
kidney ailments and was recently hospitalised in Saudi Arabia
because of heart inflammation, died Wednesday. He is
survived by an aged mother, wife Turai Yar`Adua and nine
children.

Yar`Adua, whose long illness had sparked off
leadership crisis, died almost three months after Jonathan had
assumed control of Nigeria as acting president less than a
year away from the next Presidential elections.

The new President will serve through next year`s
election where he is likely to be the leading contender.

An unwritten power-sharing agreement within Nigeria`s
ruling party calls for presidency to rotate between Nigeria`s
equally divided Muslims and Christians. Yar`Adua`s was still
in his first term in office.

Yar`Adua was buried at sundown in his native state of
Katsina in accordance with Muslim faith.

President Jonathan, who holds a doctorate degree in
Zoology, was born on November 20, 1957 and was governor of
Bayelsa state, in the Niger Delta region before assuming the
position of vice president in 2007.

During the swearing-in, he was accompanied by his wife
Patience. After his swearing-in, he extolled the dead
president as a person who had great vision for the country and
also a personal friend.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, May 6, 2010 - 19:28

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