Instant view: Death of Nigerian President Umaru Yar’Adua

ABUJA (BestGrowthStock) – Nigerian President Umaru Yar’Adua died late on Wednesday aged 58.

Acting President Goodluck Jonathan is expected to be sworn in as head of state, under the terms of the constitution.

Following are some reactions:

U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA

“We remember and honor 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 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.

“He was committed to creating lasting peace and prosperity within Nigeria’s own borders, and continuing that work will be an important part of honoring his legacy.

“Under President Yar’Adua’s leadership, Nigeria and the United States took steps to deepen the strong bilateral relationship between our two nations and that work has continued even in recent months when President Yar’Adua’s illness forced him to step back from his governing duties.”

OIL MILITANT GROUP THE MOVEMENT FOR THE EMANCIPATION OF THE

NIGER DELTA (MEND)

“MEND considers the late president a genuine peacemaker whose initiatives, humility and respect began to bring confidence to the peace process. His death may leave a vacuum that may not be filled.”

ANTONY GOLDMAN, HEAD OF LONDON-BASED PM CONSULTING

“I think Nigeria is better placed to absorb the impact than on previous occasions. I don’t think this comes as a shock to too many people in Nigeria or outside the country.

“The issue now isn’t over the immediate handover but the implication it has ahead of elections. Nigeria looks ahead to next year’s election with a much more open field than has been the case in the past.”

KAYODE AKINDELE, DIRECTOR, GREENGATE STRATEGIC PARTNERS:

“The paramount issue will be who the new vice president will be. It’ll probably be a northerner and the person will be front runner for the presidency in 2011.

“The new vice president could undermine the influence of Jonathan as he will be seen as a stop-gap, especially if he doesn’t aim to run in 2011 — influence will drift gradually to the VP as we move toward the election.

“The post (of VP) will be keenly contested.”

AKINAKA RICHARD, HEAD OF GRASSROOTS INITIATIVE FOR PEACE AND

DEMOCRACY, NIGER DELTA RIGHTS GROUP

“His death is a painful one especially for the militants in the Niger Delta. They will miss him for the brave steps he took to address Niger Delta problems, the amnesty he gave them.”

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(Reporting by Randy Fabi, Austin Ekeinde and Nick Tattersall; Editing by Michael Roddy)

Instant view: Death of Nigerian President Umaru Yar’Adua