ABUJA (AFP) – President Goodluck Jonathan on Friday fired his national security adviser and defence minister, his spokesman said, as fears mounted over spiralling unrest in the north.
“The NSA has been dropped … The minister of defence has also been dropped,” Jonathan spokesman Reuben Abati told AFP.
He said the new security adviser would be Sambo Dasuki, a retired colonel, prominent northerner and cousin to the Sultan of Sokoto, Nigeria’s highest Muslim spiritual figure.
It was not yet clear who was in line to become defence minister.
Nigeria has faced a deadly insurgency from Islamist group Boko Haram for months, but criticism of Jonathan greatly intensified this week after three suicide bombings at churches sparked reprisals from Christian mobs who burnt mosques and killed dozens of Muslims.
There have been growing warnings that there could be more cases of residents taking the law into their own hands if something is not done to halt the Boko Haram attacks.
Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation and largest oil producer, is roughly divided between a mainly Muslim north and predominately Christian south.