News / Africa

Nigerian President Dead at 58

Nigerian President Umaru Yar'Adua (File)
Nigerian President Umaru Yar'Adua (File)

Nigeria's acting president has declared seven days of mourning following the death of  President Umaru Yar'Adua.

Presidential spokesman Olusegun Adeniyi says President Yar'Adua died about 9 pm local time.

Nigerian national television interrupted broadcasts with this announcement. "The president and commander-in-chief of the armed forces Al-Haji Umaru Musa Yar'Adua died a few hours ago in the presidential villa. Security aides notified the National Security Advisor General Aliyu Gusau. Gusau who immediately called the acting president. The late president has been ill for some time. We shall bring you an official statement as soon as possible," the announcement said.

The announcement gave no official cause of death. President Yar'Adua had long suffered from kidney disease. He spent months in a Saudi hospital being treated for an inflammation of the muscles surrounding his heart before returning to Nigeria two months ago.

In his absence, Nigerian lawmakers made vice president Goodluck Jonathan the country's acting president. Mr. Jonathan has since replaced much of the previous cabinet and says the new administration will take bold steps to improve Nigeria.

Mr. Jonathan's spokesman Ima Niboro spoke to reporters following the announcement of the presidents death. "The acting president has received this news with shock and sadness. Our nation is in mourning. I am sure the entire world mourns with us tonight," he said.

In a written statement, U.S. President Barack Obama honored what he called President Yar'Adua's profound personal decency and integrity, his deep commitment to public service, and his passionate belief in the vast potential and bright future of Nigeria's 150 million people.

President Obama says President Yar'Adua worked to promote peace and stability in Africa through his support of Nigerian peacekeeping efforts as well as his strong criticism of undemocratic actions in the region.  Mr. Obama says Mr. Yar'Adua was committed to creating lasting peace and prosperity within Nigeria's own borders. He says continuing that work will be an important part of honoring his legacy.

Acting President Jonathan has vowed to reinvigorate an amnesty program for Niger Delta militants that President Yar'Adua began last year.

His death leaves division with the ruling People's Democratic Party. Acting President Jonathan has not ruled out running for president himself next year. But he is from southern Nigeria.

Ruling party chairman Vincent Ogbulafor says the next candidate should be from northern Nigeria to fulfill the eight years promised northern politicians under an informal power-sharing agreement that rotates the presidency between the mainly-Muslim north and largely-Christian south every two terms.

Nigeria's government says Mr. Jonathan will be sworn-in as Nigerian president Thursday morning. President Yar'Adua will be buried in his home town of Katsina Thursday afternoon.

You May Like

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' Turns 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid