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Vol 40 No 12

Published 11th June 1999


Nigeria

New team, old players

President Obasanjo mixes old military friends and human rights activists in his new cabinet

'Is this 1999 or 1979?' asked one senator on seeing President Olusegun Obasanjo's list of 42 ministerial nominees. Another opined more diplomatically that the list favoured 'experience over vigour'. Like most Nigerian governments, it's an awkward coalition: Obasanjo (AC Vol 40 No 10, Golden parachutes & Vol 40 No 11, It's Omar II) has nominated a mixture of technocrats and political jobbers, bringing in people from outside his own People's Democratic Party – both from the ranks of the opposition Alliance for Democracy (AD) and from the All People's Party (APP), as well as from civil society. At the same time, he's had to keep a national balance: the constitution demands that a national minister be selected from each of the Federation's 36 states.

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