Nigeria: Jonathan Sworn in as President

Jonathan first came to power after the death of his predecessor, northerner Umaru Yar’Adua, last year.

By Eric Sande

President Goodluck Jonathan, Sunday, took the oath of office as the President and Commander-in-Chief of the federal Republic of Nigeria, at a colorful ceremony held at the Eagles Square, Abuja.

File Photo of Goodluck Jonathan

Jonathan, 53, was sworn in amid tight security at a colorful ceremony witnessed by more than two dozen heads of state from across Africa, foreign dignitaries, religious leaders and traditional rulers gathered in Eagle Square in the centre of Abuja for the ceremony and a military parade to mark the start of his four-year term.

In an oath administered by chief justice Aloysius Katsina-Alu, Jonathan sporting a fedora hat swore to be “faithful and bear true allegiance” to Nigeria and “discharge my duties to the best of my abilities.”

“Together we will unite our nation, improve the living standards of all our people, whether in the north or in the south, in the east or in the west,” Jonathan said in a speech after taking the oath of office.

The former zoology student won 59% of the vote last month, but his People’s Democratic party has been chastened by a weaker parliamentary majority and the loss of several powerful state governorships. The election was judged as the country’s fairest to date though marred by deadly post-poll riots.

Jonathan beat his main opponent, an ex-military ruler from the mainly Muslim north, in the April 16 vote, but three days of rioting following the election killed more than 800 people.

He first came to power after the death of his predecessor, northerner Umaru Yar’Adua, last year.

He has pledged to create jobs and drive economic growth, voicing commitment to banking reforms, the privatisation of the domestic power sector and promising to develop infrastructure and agriculture in Africa’s third biggest economy.

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