Thursday, May 6, 2010
Nigerian President Yar’Adua Dies
Seven days of National mourning have begun for 58-year-old President Yar’Adua (from northern Nigeria) who died yesterday. US President Obama praised Yar’Adua’s “profound personal decency and integrity” and “passionate belief in the vast potential and bright future of Nigeria’s 150 million people.”
Acting President Goodluck Jonathan (from southern Nigeria) has been sworn in as President. His next step is to appoint a Deputy (Vice President, from the north), who will most likely be next year’s presidential candidate.
Here’s some background that’ll hopefully explain all these parentheses. In Nigeria, a President from the north (Muslim) serves, followed by a President from the south (Christian), and so on. Now that Jonathan (Christian) is the President, the President to be elected next spring is supposed to be from the north (Muslim). This might be contested, however, since Jonathan’s term is just for this one year.
Whatever happens, we pray for a peaceful transfer of power. According to the BBC, Yar'Adua's election in 2007 marked the first transfer of power from one civilian president to another since Nigeria's independence in 1960.
We also join Nigeria in mourning for their President.