Nigeria: Goodluck Jonathan sworn in as president

Goodluck Jonathan inspected troops in Abuja before taking the oath of office

Posted 6th June 2011


Nigeria: Goodluck Jonathan sworn in as president

Nigeria's Goodluck Jonathan has been sworn in as president for a new four-year term, following a clear poll win. Foreign heads of state attended the lavish ceremony, which began with a military parade and inspection at Eagle Square in the country's capital, Abuja.
Mr Jonathan was promoted from vice-president after Umaru Yar'Adua died in office in 2010. Despite his election win the country still has serious divisions and there were deadly riots after polling.

The election was largely considered free and fair but hundreds of people were killed in three days of rioting following the announcement of the result. Mr Jonathan, 53, won nearly 60% of the vote. He is a southern Christian and had defeated his leading challenger from the mainly Muslim north. Flanked by two judges wearing white wigs, Goodluck Jonathan took the oath of office.
It was a solemn vow to serve the people of Nigeria and uphold it's constitution. Watching on were more than 25 presidents from across the continent including South Africa's Jacob Zuma and Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe.

Security was tight, the legacy of the bomb attacks at last year's 50th anniversary of independence. So the ceremony itself was held at arms length from the Nigerian people with only invited guests allowed within a kilometre of Eagle Square. That didn't dampen spirits inside. Military bands paraded, children danced and a gun salute was observed. Mr Jonathan's nomination also required changing a ruling party tradition of alternating between candidates from the north and south.

Mr Jonathan is famous for his wide-brimmed hat - on display on inauguration day - and his love of Facebook, but enters office with a "to-do" list that would daunt many, he adds.
On the campaign trail Mr Jonathan said fixing Nigeria's threadbare power sector would be a priority as would be reforming agriculture to increase food production.
Mr Jonathan will face the issue of continuing Christian-Muslim conflict and the simmering tension in the oil-producing Niger Delta.

 

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