Free article preview  

From the surrealism of ‘missing president’ Umaru Yar’Adua, linked to the outside world via a ghostly voiced interview with the BBC, and with attendant disputes of legitimacy and sovereignty, Nigeria has solved the crisis in its own way, by effecting what some call a ‘democratic coup’. One by one, the elected institutions of state (the powerful governors’ forum and both houses of the National Assembly) and several non-elected regional councils met and agreed to support the handover to Vice-President Goodluck Jonathan.

Whatever the constitutional doubts that remain, the 9 February resolution by the National Assembly, citing the ‘doctrine of necessity’, to recognise Vice-President Goodluck Jonathan as Acting President was warmly welcomed by Nigerians who had watched the country teeter for over 70 days. A deciding factor was Jonathan’s own base in the Niger Delta: the prospect of a return to widespread militant attacks against oil installations there in protest at the blocking of his political elevation was enough to convince most of the political class that it was time to suspend Umaru Yar’Adua’s attempts at ruling from a hospital ward in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

(This article contains approximately 1693 words)

end of preview

Subscribers: log in now to read the complete article.

Account Holders: log in now and use your Account Credit to buy this article. No Credit? Top up your Account now.

If you have misplaced your password, click here for a reminder.

Not a subscriber? Then you can read this article in full by becoming a subscriber now, opening an Account and topping up and using your Account Credit, or you can buy this individual article.

  • 1. Subscribe:
  • 2. Use my account:
  • 3. Buy this article:
  • Prices from £867.60
    (including VAT)

    Take out an annual subscription and get access to our archive of more than 16 years of articles from Africa Confidential.

  • 5 articles £60.00
    10 articles £102.00
    20 articles £180.00
    (prices includes VAT)

    Account-holders log in above. If you don’t have an account yet, it only takes a minute to open one.

    Top up and use your Account Credit to read this article.

  • UK & European Union
    (including VAT)
    Rest of the world

  • If you have a print subscription already, click here for a password that gives you full access to the website.
  • If you are logged in, but still cannot access the full text of this article, email customer services or telephone us on +44(0)1638 743633.


The doctrine of necessity, Goodluck Jonathan, Umaru Yar’Adua, Saudi Arabia, Ghana, John Atta Mills, Olusegun Obasanjo, United States, Britain, Farouk AbdulMutallab, China, Angola, Congo-Kinshasa, Sudan, Emmanuel Egbogah, Abubakar Bukola Saraki, Sule Lamido, Isa Yuguda, Ibrahim Shema, Aliyu Mohammed Gusau, That Goodluck charm wins out, Turai Yar’Adua, Sa’ad Abubakar, David Edevbie, Vincent Ogbulafor, Harilu Bello Mohammed, Abubakar Kawu Baraje, Musa Babayo, Gabriel Suswam, Tanimu Yakubu, Mahmud Yayale Ahmed, Sarki Muktar, Abba Ruma, Rilwan Lanre Babalola, James Ibori, Michael Aondoakaa, Senegal, Maurice Iwu, Uwais, Farida Waziri, Adetokunbo Kayode, Nuhu Ribadu, Mo Ibrahim, Lamido Sanusi, Tony Elumelu, Jim Ovia, South Africa, Africa Confidential