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Updated: May 6, 2010 16:31 IST

Goodluck Jonathan sworn in as Nigeria’s new President

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File photo of Goodluck Jonathan, who was sworn in as President of Nigeria following the death of incumbent Umaru Yar'Adua.
AP File photo of Goodluck Jonathan, who was sworn in as President of Nigeria following the death of incumbent Umaru Yar'Adua.

Goodluck Jonathan was sworn in as Nigeria’s President in a simple ceremony on Thursday morning in Abuja following the death of Umaru Musa Yar’Adua.

Mr. Jonathan was sworn in by the Chief Justice of the Federation, Aloysius Katsina-Alu.

Mr. Yar’Adua, 58, died on Wednesday night in the capital city of Abuja after a protracted illness.

Mr. Jonathan, 52, had been acting President since February following Mr. Yar’Adua’s three-month absence from office due to a heart problem.

Mr. Jonathan was Governor of the southern, oil-rich Nigerian State of Bayelsa between December 2005 and May 2007 following the impeachment of Diepreye Alamieyeseigha for money laundering.

A Christian, Mr. Jonathan was a surprise choice as Mr. Yar’Adua’s running mate by ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the May 2007 presidential elections.

General elections are due in Nigeria early next year.

Meanwhile, Nigeria’s government has declared Thursday as a work-free day in tribute to the death of Mr. Yar’Adua.

A week-long national period of mourning has also been declared, while Mr. Jonathan has cancelled all his official engagements.

Mr. Yar’Adua is to be laid to rest in his hometown of Katsina later Thursday.

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