President of Nigeria Dead

Goodluck Jonathan takes over after Yar'Adau death
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 6, 2010 1:19 AM CDT
President of Nigeria Dead
Nigerian President Umaru Yar'Adua died yesterday at the age of 58.   (AP Photo/George Osodi, File)

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,
(More Nigeria stories.)

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