Goodluck Jonathan

*Nigeria’s Acting President Goodluck Jonathan dissolved the cabinet on Wednesday in a bid to consolidate his authority at the helm of Africa’s most populous nation a month after he assumed executive powers.

The surprise move heightens immediate uncertainty in the oil-producing nation of 140 million people, leaving civil servants in charge of ministries until new ministers are screened and approved, a process which could take weeks.

In the interim, Jonathan — who assumed executive powers in early February in the absence of ailing President Umaru Yar’Adua — will be Nigeria’s sole administrator because as acting head of state he has no deputy in the presidency.

“He did not give us any reason for the dissolution of the cabinet. Permanent secretaries will take charge of the ministries from tomorrow,” outgoing Information Minister Dora Akunyili told reporters after a lengthy cabinet meeting.

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