Nigerian President Umaru Yar’Adua Dies at 58
Posted on May 6, 2010
Speculation about the health of Nigerian President Umaru Yar’Adua ended Wednesday with the announcement of his death at age 58. Late last year, Yar’Adua’s position was assumed by his second-in-command, acting President Goodluck Jonathan, but not without controversy, and rumors about Yar’Adua’s state were stoked by his mysterious return to Nigeria in February after seeking treatment for a heart-related malady in Saudi Arabia. The late president was to be buried on Thursday, according to reports.
AP via Yahoo News:
Yar’Adua took office in 2007 in a country notorious for corruption and gained accolades for being the first leader to publicly declare his personal assets when taking office — setting up a benchmark for comparison later to see if he misappropriated funds. But enthusiasm for his presidency waned as time passed and he made no headway in fighting entrenched corruption.
He had tried to peacefully end an insurgency in Nigeria’s oil-producing Niger Delta that had attacked the petroleum infrastructure, allowing Angola to overtake Nigeria as Africa’s no. 1 oil exporter. Those efforts frayed after Yar’Adua became gravely ill.
Yar’Adua went to a Saudi Arabian hospital on Nov. 24 to receive treatment for what officials described as a severe case of pericarditis, an inflammation of the sac surrounding the heart that can cause a fatal complication. He failed to formally transfer his powers to Vice President Goodluck Jonathan, sparking a constitutional crisis in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation with 150 million people.
AP / George Osodi
Then-candidate Umaru Yar’Adua already had the look of victory as he left a polling booth during Nigeria’s April 2007 presidential election.