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Timeline: Road to Jonathan’s Presidency

By Charles  Kumolu

February 9
VICE President Goodluck Jonathan assumes full presidential powers as Acting President, following approval of the National Assembly  asking him to take charge pending the return of President Umaru Yar’Adua from medical trip to Saudi Arabia.

*He addresses the nation:
“The events of the recent past have put to the test, our collective resolve as a democratic nation. I am delighted to note that our nation has demonstrated resilience and unity of purpose. Today affords us time to reconnect with ourselves and overcome any suspicions, hurts and doubts, which had occurred. In all these, there are no winners and no losers, because by the grace of God we have once again succeeded in moving our country forward. I am fully aware of the responsibilities reposed in me, and I want to reassure all Nigerians that this is a sacred trust, which I shall discharge to my fullest abilities”

February 10
Jonathan approves the redeployment of Nigeria’s controversial Attorney General to Ministry of Special Duties

February 15
Acting President Goodluck Jonathan elected Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) by the group’s Heads of State and Government.

“Your Excellencies will recall that we were confronted with a number of most undemocratic efforts at political change. In a few of our countries the will of the people and their genuine aspiration for democracy were trampled upon with impunity.

Let it be stated again that no place exists in this sub-region for such rape on the rights and indeed dignity of our people. No more will there be comfort zone for such political mis-adventure.”

March 1
Jonathan sets up a Presidential Advisory Council to provide alternative inputs into policy formation, promote good governance in the areas of power, economy, security, infrastructure, social sector, the electoral process and the fight against corruption.
“The council would evaluate policy implementation and advise on areas requiring adjustments; to advise the President on how to maximise the benefits derivable from government’s efforts; to advise on such actions and programmes that may improve credibility and performance of the government, and advise on any other matter referred to it by the President.”

President Goodluck President Goodluck Jonathan during his swearing by the Chief Justice of Federation, Justice Katsina Alu.

March 17

He dissolves the Executive Council of the Federation; urges Permanent Secretaries to take charge pending appointment of new ministers
“The cabinet dissolution is a bid to inject fresh blood and bring even greater vigour to governance. It is part of the larger strategy to frontally confront the core challenges that face the nation at this critical moment of our history.”

April 6

Jonathan swears in new cabinet ministers
“No longer must we tolerate the triumph of centrifugal forces whose main agenda is to distract and defeat the march of our people to the summit of economic self-sufficiency and political maturity. I will, therefore, continually monitor and evaluate your performance. Each of you has a portfolio but our responsibility will also be collective. This means that we must support one another, because together each achieves more, I will, therefore, continually monitor and evaluate your performance. Each of you has a portfolio but our responsibility will also be collective. This means that we must support one another, because together each achieves more”

April 22
The Acting President signs the 2010 budget of N4.6 trillion and the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry  Content Development Bill 2010 into laws.
“I sign this budget authorising aggregate expenditure of N4.6 trillion mindful of many challenges facing us and the need to intervene quickly to address these multi-faceted issues. However, I am encouraged by our unwavering resolve and collective commitment to overcome any attendant adversity, this administration will quickly move to identify and resolve the impediments to implementations, rewarding excellence and performance and applying sanctions where otherwise,”

April 10
Jonathan steps out on a four-day working visit to the US where he is scheduled to meet with US president, Barack Obama and   attend a global summit on nuclear materials.

April 11
Jonathan meets with Obama at Blair House which serves as President Obama’s Guest House a few meters across from the White House
“I promised myself that the elections I will supervise in 2011 will be credible, Nigeria must show the lead in Africa. We cannot begin to talk to other leaders that you must conduct clean election, you must not have a third term agenda, when you yourself you have issues that people will raise. So for us, we have to lead by example. If we have to lead, we must show clear example.”

April 16

Jonathan on CNN speaks on whether he will contest the 2011 election
“For now, I don’t want to think about it, because the circumstances of the day are quite worrisome. I came in as the vice president to run with President Yar’Adua, of course, getting close to period of election, he took ill. And I have to take over under somewhat controversial circumstances. Only last week, I reconsidered the cabinet. So let us see how Nigeria will move forward first. I had a similar experience when I was governor of my state. I said, nobody should ask me whether I will contest election or not. I must first of all see whether the state is moving. If the country is not moving, what will I tell Nigerians I want to contest?”

April 28
He sacks of the Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commisssion,INEC, Prof
Maurice Iwu.

April 29
Jonathan promises that votes will count in 2011 and beyond at b the One man One vote rally in Benin.
“Going forward, my attitude and conduct remain firm and very determined to produce results that improve on the outcome of these last elections. This government will not allow the will of the will of the people to be defeated”

May 5
President Umaru  Yar’Adua dies in Aso Rock Presidential Villa

May 6
Jonathan is sworn-in as President, Commander-in-Chief

May 10

President Goodluck Jonathan formally assumes duties in his new office at the Presidential wing of Aso Rock Villa in Abuja. He first reports in his former office at the Vice-Presidential wing of the Villa about 11.20am and holds a brief meeting with the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Alhaji Yayale Ahmed.

May 12
Jonathan chairs first meeting of the Executive Council of the Federation as President, Commander-in-Chief

May 13
Jonathan visits Kaduna and Rivers State


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