February 15, 2010 / 7:01 PM / in 10 years

Nigeria's acting president bans congratulations

Nigeria's acting president Goodluck Jonathan delivers a speech at a church in the capital territory of Abuja in this December 31, 2009 file photo. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde/Files

ABUJA (Reuters) - Acting President Goodluck Jonathan appealed to Nigerians on Monday to stop putting adverts in newspapers to congratulate him on his new role.

Such adverts are a common way for Nigerians to try to curry favor with new administrations in a West African country where patronage has often been the key to success and corruption is widespread.

“The Acting President has similarly placed a ban on solidarity visits,” said a statement from Ima Niboro, Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity.

Jonathan assumed executive powers last week to fill a leadership vacuum in Africa’s most populous nation more than two months after President Umaru Yar’Adua was hospitalised in Saudi Arabia.

In his first national address, Jonathan said good governance, accountability and transparency were among his most important commitments.

Past Nigerian leaders have often failed to fulfil such promises.

“Dr. Jonathan restated the commitment of the administration to secure Nigeria’s path to greatness and guarantee our place among the great nations of the world in the shortest possible time,” the statement said.

Writing by Matthew Tostevin; Editing by Nick Tattersall

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