Nigeria's President Umaru Yar'Adau died yesterday after a long illness. Yar'Adua, 58, became president in 2007 in the first transfer of power from one civilian leader to another since Nigeria's independence in 1960. He promised to stamp out corruption and end a long-running insurgency in the country's oil-rich south, but his chronic sickness hampered reform and caused long periods of uncertainty.
Vice-President Goodluck Jonathan, who has been acting president since February, will now become president until elections are held next year. The ruling party has an unwritten agreement to alternate presidents from Nigeria's Muslim north and Christian south, and with Jonathan, a southerner, now taking over from the Muslim Yar'Adau, the succession is likely to be complicated and cause further strife, the BBC notes,