ABUJA Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan announced a series of anti-terrorism initiatives on Monday as he looks to regain control after a wave of attacks in the last week of 2010 rocked Africa's most populous nation.
Jonathan is preparing to contest in ruling party primaries next week that are likely to be the most fiercely contested since the end of military rule more than a decade ago.
A bombing in Nigeria's capital Abuja on New Year's Eve killed four people, a week after 80 were killed in a series of blasts and subsequent violence in the central city of Jos.
Religious clashes in the northeast have killed more than a dozen with police pointing the finger at an Islamist sect that claimed responsibility for the Abuja blast.
Jonathan will be hoping his show of intent Monday will help boost confidence in his leadership credentials as rivals look to seize on any signs of weakness.
"Mr President in the next one week is to appoint a special adviser on terrorism," presidential spokesman Ima Niboro said after an emergency meeting of Nigeria's security council.
"Mr President is going to work with the National Assembly to ensure the speedy passage of the anti-terrorism bill that is before the assembly."
Niboro said four new presidential committees would be launched, including a group working on controlling explosives and another to promote public security awareness.
Nigerian elections usually favor the incumbent and Jonathan is the frontrunner.
But an unofficial party pact says that power within the ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP) should rotate between the mostly Muslim north and largely Christian south every two terms.
Jonathan, a southerner, took over when President Umaru Yar'Adua, a northerner, died during his first term, and some northern factions are opposed to his candidacy.
He faces a northern challenge from former Vice President Atiku Abubakar for the party nomination.
The New Year's Eve blasts at a crowded market area in Abuja left dozens injured. No group has claimed responsibility and the president has said the culprits have yet to be identified.
Radical Islamist group Boko Haram, whose name means "Western education is sinful" in Hausa, the language spoken across northern Nigeria, said it carried out the Jos bombings but it has not claimed involvement in the Abuja attack.
Nigeria's main militant group operating in the oil-producing Niger Delta, which said it planned car bomb attacks in Abuja in October, said it was not involved in Friday's blasts.
Nigeria can ill-afford a security crisis ahead of April's presidential, governorship and parliamentary polls as the West African nation has a history of violent elections.