Olusegun Obasanjo

3.3964174454544 (1284)
Posted by sonny 02/26/2009 @ 02:20

Tags : olusegun obasanjo, nigeria, africa, world

News headlines
Olusegun Obasanjo: Now more than a farmer - The Punch
The mansion, sited on a six-acre of choice land, was built by the German company, Gitto, which incidentally handles the construction work at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library. Extensive work is still going on at the site of the OOPL,...
Baba go slow of Nigeria and the 'mbeku' Dance - Modern Ghana
By kenneth uwadi It is two years since Yar'Adua , the hand-picked choice of former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo became president in an election that observers regarded as one of Africa's worst to date. Hundreds died in politically-inspired and...
N'Delta crisis crippling oil and gas sector - The Punch
Olusegun Obasanjo expected to address perceived injustices in the system after he became president in 1999, worsened the matter when he ordered troops to invade Odi in Bayelsa State in retaliation for the killing of soldiers by militant groups that had...
How would you grade Nigerian democracy? - BBC News
In 1999, the then Head of State General Abdulsalami Abubakar handed over the reins of government to newly elected President Olusegun Obasanjo. Nigeria, Africa's most populous nation has had its democracy severely tested in recent times....
Sango-Ota's abandoned road - The Punch
By Our Reader Looking at the picture of a car stuck in the flood on the Sango-Ota uncompleted road, as published on page 13 in the Punch of May 6, ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo should be ashamed. I don't know how he feels whenever he passes through...
Nigeria: Blame Our Failure On Obasanjo, PDP - Masari - AllAfrica.com
But those who know, insist that he was no less resolute on some critical matters during the period, one of them the infamous third term agenda, allegedly contrived by former President, Olusegun Obasanjo. In this interview with Deputy Editor,...
Halliburton: Okiro panel quizzes Shinkafi, Etiebet, Kupolokun - The Punch
It also interrogated a former Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Mr. Funsho Kupolokun, who was also former President Olusegun Obasanjo's Special Assistant on Petroleum Matters. The interrogation of the trio...
MY TAKE: Hunting the hunter - NEXT
It did,indicting both former President Olusegun Obasanjo and his clique of cabinet operatives, including Liyel Imoke (now a governor) and Olusegun Agagu (a rusticated governor). Asked to appear and tell his side of the sordid affair, Obasanjo quibbled...
Nigeria: Obasanjo Lacked Educational Impetus to Rule - Farouk - AllAfrica.com
Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Education, Farouk Lawal, on Monday took a swipe at 'the administrative incompetence' of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, describing him as lacking the educational impetus to rule the country while his...
Nigeria: Ben Nwabueze in His Element - AllAfrica.com
He blamed the disquiet in the region on what he called a two-edged conspiracy between former President Olusegun Obasanjo and the Supreme Court, which he considered the genesis of the problem even as he lashed out on the Federal Government on its...

People's Democratic Party (Nigeria)


The People's Democratic Party is a centrist political party in Nigeria. It won the Presidential elections of 1999, 2003, and 2007, and is the dominant party in the Fourth Republic.

In the legislative election held on 12 April 2003, the party won 54.5% of the popular vote and 223 out of 360 seats in the House of Representatives, and 76 out of 109 seats in the Senate. Its candidate in the presidential election of 19 April 2003, Olusegun Obasanjo, was re-elected with 61.9% of the vote.

In December 2006 Umaru Yar'Adua was chosen as the presidential candidate of the ruling PDP for the April 2007 general election, receiving 3,024 votes from party delegates; his closest rival, Rochas Okorocha, received only 372 votes. Yar'Adua was eventually declared the winner of the 2007 general elections, held on April 21, and was sworn in on May 29, 2007, amid widespread allegations of electoral fraud. In the Nigerian National Assembly election, the party won 260 out of 360 seats in the House of Representatives and 85 out of 109 seats in the Senate.

At the PDP's 2008 National Convention, it chose Prince Vincent Ogbulafor as its National Chairman on March 8, 2008. Ogbulafor, who was the PDP's National Secretary from 2001 to 2005, was the party's consensus choice for the position of National Chairman, selected as an alternative to the rival leading candidates Sam Egwu (who was backed by Obasanjo) and Anyim Pius Anyim. All 26 other candidates, including Egwu and Anyim, withdrew in favor of Ogbulafor. Meanwhile, Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje was elected as National Secretary.

The party has a neoliberal stance in its economic policies and maintains a conservative stance on certain social issues, such as same sex relations.

The PDP favors free-market policies which support economic liberalism, and limited government regulation. In 2003, President Olusegun Obasanjo and Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala embarked on a radical economic reform program, which reduced government spending through conservative fiscal policies, and saw the deregulation and privatization of numerous industries in Nigerian services sector — notably the Nigerian Telecommunications (NITEL) industry.

The PDP strives to maintain the status quo on oil revenue distribution. Though the PDP government setup the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to address the needs of the oil-producing Niger Delta states, it has rebuffed repeated efforts to revert back to the 50% to 50% federal-to-state government revenue allocation agreement established in 1966 during the First Republic.

The PDP is against same sex relations, and favors social conservatism on moral and religious grounds. In 2007, the PDP-dominated National Assembly sponsored a bill to outlaw homosexual relations, making it punishable by law for up to five years in prison.

On the other hand, the PDP adopts a more leftist stance towards poverty and welfare. In 2005, President Obasanjo launched Nigeria's first National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to ensure that every Nigerian has access to basic health care services.

The party is a moderate advocate of state-autonomy and religious freedom for the Nigerian provinces. In the year 2000 the introduction of Islamic law in some states in Northern Nigeria triggered sectarian violence in Kaduna and Abia states. The PDP-led federal government refused to bow to pressure from the southern, predominantly Christian states to repeal the law, and instead opted for a compromise where Islamic law would only apply to Muslims.

To the top

National Assembly of Nigeria


The National Assembly of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is a bicameral legislature established under section 4 of the Nigerian Constitution and comprises a 109-member Senate and a 360-member House of Representatives. The body, modelled after the federal Congress of the United States, is supposed to guarantee equal representation of the states irrespective of size in the Senate and proportional representation of population in the House. The National Assembly and other main government buildings are located in the federal capital Abuja.

The Senate is chaired by the President of the Nigerian Senate, the first of whom was the Rt. Hon. Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe who stepped down from the job to become the country's first Head of State, while the House is chaired by the Speaker of the House of Representatives. At any joint session of the Assembly, the President of the Senate presides and in his absence the Speaker of the House presides.

The Assembly has broad oversight functions and is empowered to establish committees of its members to scrutinise bills and the conduct of government officials. Since the restoration of democratic rule in 1999, the Assembly has been said to be a "learning process" that has witness the election and removal of several Presidents of the Senate, allegations of corruption, slow passage of private member bills and the creation of ineffective committees to satisfy numerous interests.

In spite of a more than two-thirds majority control of the Assembly by the ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP), the PDP government led by Olusegun Obasanjo and the Assembly have been known more for their disagreements than for their cooperation. President Obasanjo has been accused of interference in the Assembly's affairs while the Assembly's PDP members have actively supported two impeachment attempts by opposition legislators. While the Assembly has made strong and often popular efforts to assert its authority and independence against the executive, they are still viewed generally in a negative light by the media and a majority of population. The Assembly sits for a period of at least four years after which the President is required to dissolve it and call a new Assembly into session.

The Senate has the unique power of impeachment of judges and other high officials of the executive including the Federal Auditor-General and the members of the electoral and revenue commissions, the power is subject however to prior request by the President. The senate also confirms the President's nomination of senior diplomats, members of the federal cabinet, federal judicial appointments and independent federal commissions.

The House and Senate must agree before any bill is passed as law, which in turn must receive the President's assent. Should the President delay or refuse assent (veto) the bill, the Assembly may pass the law by two-thirds of both chambers and overrule the veto and the President's consent will not be required. This Assembly has not hidden its preparedness to overrule the executive where they disagree.

To the top

Olusegun Obasanjo

Olusegun Obasanjo

General (rtd.) Oluṣẹgun Mathew Okikiọla Arẹmu Ọbasanjọ, GCFR (pronounced in Yoruba, /oʊˈbɑːsəndʒoʊ/ in English; born circa March 5, 1937) is a retired Nigerian Army general and former President of Nigeria. A Christian of Yoruba descent, Obasanjo was a career soldier before serving twice as his nation's head of state, once as a military ruler, between February 13, 1976 to October 1, 1979 and again from May 29, 1999 to May 29, 2007, as elected President. His current home is Abeokuta, the Capital City of Ogun State.

As chief of staff of Supreme Headquarters, Obasanjo was Mohammed's deputy and had the support of the military. He had earlier commanded the 3 Marine Commando Division of the federal army that took Owerri, effectively bringing an end to the civil war. His earlier war service had included being with 1 Area Command in Kaduna and acting as Chief Army Engineer, then commander of 2 Area Command from July 1967, which rapidly was redesignated 2 Division Rear, and then the Ibadan Garrison Organisation. In 1976, he was marked for assassination along with Mohammed and other senior military personnel by coup plotters, lead by army col. Dimka. But one colonel was mistaken for Obasanjo, and was subsequently killed together with Murtala on February 13, 1976. A low profile security policy adopted by Murtala in guarding very important persons allowed the plotters easy access to their targets. However, the coup was foiled because they missed Obasanjo and General Theophilus Danjuma, chief of army staff and de facto number three man in the country. The plotters also failed to monopolize communications, although they were able to take over the radio station to announce the coup attempt. Obasanjo and Danjuma where able to establish a chain of command and re-established security in Lagos, thereby regaining control. Obasanjo was made head of state in a meeting of the Supreme Military Council. Keeping the chain of command established by Murtala Muhammad in place, Obasanjo pledged to continue the programme for the restoration of civilian government in 1979 and to carry forward the reform programme to improve the quality of public service.

The model for the second republican constitution, which was adopted in 1979, was modelled on the Constitution of the United States, with provision for a President, Senate, and House of Representatives. The country was now ready for local elections, to be followed by national elections, that would return Nigeria to civilian rule.

The military regimes of Murtala Muhammad and Obasanjo benefited from a tremendous influx of oil revenue that increased 350 percent between 1973 and 1974, when oil prices skyrocketed, to 1979, when the military stepped down. Increased revenues permitted massive spending; this spending, however, was poorly planned and concentrated in urban areas. The oil boom was marred by a minor recession in 1978-79, but revenues rebounded until mid-1981. The increase in revenues made possible a rapid rise in income, especially for the urban middle class. There was a corresponding inflation, particularly in the price of food, that promoted both industrialisation and the expansion of agricultural production. As a result of the shift to food crops, the traditional export earners — peanuts, cotton, cocoa, and palm products — declined in significance and then ceased to be important at all. Nigeria's exports became dominated by oil.

Industrialisation, which had grown slowly after World War II through the civil war, boomed in the 1970s, despite many infrastructure constraints. Growth was particularly pronounced in the production and assembly of consumer goods, including vehicle assembly and the manufacture of soap and detergents, soft drinks, pharmaceuticals, beer, paint, and building materials. Furthermore, there was extensive investment in infrastructure from 1975 to 1980, and the number of parastatals — jointly government- and privately owned companies — proliferated. The Nigerian Enterprises Promotion decrees of 1972 and 1977 further encouraged the growth of an indigenous middle class.

Plans were undertaken for the movement of the federal capital from Lagos to Abuja, a more central location in the interior of the country. Such a step was seen as a means of encouraging the spread of industrial development inland and of relieving the congestion that threatened to choke Lagos. Abuja also was chosen because it was not identified with any particular ethnic group.

Heavy investment was planned in steel production. With Soviet assistance, a steel mill was developed at Ajaokuta in Kogi State, not far from Abuja. The most significant negative sign was the decline of industry associated with agriculture, but large-scale irrigation projects were launched in the states of Borno, Kano, Sokoto, and Bauchi under World Bank auspices.

Education also expanded rapidly. At the start of the civil war, there were only five universities, but by 1975 the number had increased to thirteen, with seven more established over the next several years. In 1975 there were 53,000 university students. There were similar advances in primary and secondary school education, particularly in those northern states that had lagged behind.

Obasanjo was also responsible for enormous political repression. In one particular instance, the compound of Nigerian musician and political activist Fela Kuti was raided and burned to the ground after a member of his commune got in an altercation with military personnel. Fela and his family was beaten and raped, and his mother, political activist Funmilayo Ransome Kuti was killed by being thrown from a window. Her coffin was carried to the barracks of Olusegun Obasanjo, to expose political repression.

Obasanjo served until October 1, 1979, when he handed power to Shehu Shagari, a democratically elected civilian president; this made Obasanjo the first leader in Nigerian history to surrender power willingly. In late 1983, however, the military seized power again. Obasanjo, being in retirement, did not participate in that coup, and did not publicly support it.

During the dictatorship of Sani Abacha (1993–1998), Obasanjo spoke out against the human rights abuses of the regime, and was imprisoned for his participation in a bait coup. He was released only after Abacha's sudden death on 8 June 1998. While in prison, Obasanjo became a born-again Christian. He was disciplined in his faith by Dr. Danny McCain.

In the 1999 elections, the first in sixteen years, he decided to run for the presidency as the candidate of the People's Democratic Party. Obasanjo won with 62.6% of the vote, sweeping the strongly Christian Southeast and the predominantly Muslim north, but decisively lost his home region, the Southwest, to his fellow-Yoruba and Christian, Olu Falae, the only other candidate. It is thought that lingering resentment among his fellow-Yorubas about his previous military administration of 1976 to 1979, after which he handed power over to a government dominated by northerners rather than by Yorubas, contributed to his poor showing among his own people. May 29, the day Obasanjo took office as the first elected and civilian head of state in Nigeria after 16 years of military rule, is now commemorated as Democracy Day, a public holiday in Nigeria.

Obasanjo spent most of his first term travelling abroad visiting mostly western countries. He claimed this was to polish the country image and re-establish the country to international scene after being battered and stained by the regime of Gen. Abacha.

He succeeded in winning at least some Western support for strengthening Nigeria's nacient democracy. Britain and the United States, in particular, were glad to have an African ally who was openly critical of abuses committed in Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe at a time when many other African nations (including South Africa) were taking a softer stance. Obasanjo also won international praise for Nigeria's role in crucial regional peacekeeping missions in Sierra Leone and Liberia. The international community was guided in its approach to Obasanjo in part by Nigeria's status as one of the world's 10 biggest oil exporters as well as by fears that, as the continent's most populous nation, Nigerian internal divisions risked negatively affecting the entire continent.

At home, Obasanjo's first term was marked by widespread criticism over the Nigerian government's response to violent crises in the North -- Kaduna and Kano chief among them -- as well as in the central-eastern state of Benue and the southern oil-rich Niger Delta. International media reports cited figures of more than 10,000 people killed in violent outbursts during Obasanjo's first term. Nigeria's military was criticed for using tactics of mass suppression -- notably burning down towns such as Zaki-Biam in Benue and Odi in the Niger Delta state of Bayelsa -- which Obasanjo initially defended, before later expressing regret for the lives lost.

His party, PDP, was established without him, as when he was called to contest the presidency he was languishing in prison. Thus he was not able to control the party in the direction he wanted. The party became its own opposition with various infighting.

Although Obasanjo made fighting corruption the stated aim of his first term and managed to pass some anti-corruption laws, critics both at home and abroad accused him of doing too little to reign in the excesses, particularly among federal government ministers and state governors, many of which were widely publicized in the domestic and international press.

Some of the public officials like the National Assembly speaker and Senate president were involved in conflicts with the president, who had to battle many impeachment moves from both houses. Obasanjo managed to survive impeachment and got renomination.

Obasanjo was re-elected in 2003 in a tumultuous election that had violent ethnic and religious overtones, his main opponent (fellow former military ruler General Muhammadu Buhari) being a Muslim who drew his support mainly from the north. Capturing 61.8% of the vote, Obasanjo defeated Buhari by more than 11 million votes. Buhari and other defeated candidates (including Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, the former Biafran leader of the 1960s who was the presidential candidate for APGA), claimed that the election was fraudulent. International observers from the European Union, and the U.S. National Democratic Institute and International Republican Institute also reported widespread voting irregularities, including in the restive oil producing Niger delta where Obasanjo's party had without explanation won close to 100% of the votes.

However, a delegation from the Commonwealth of Nations — led by representatives of former colonial power and trading partner Great Britain and African nations that had undergone troubled elections of their own — were less critical in their assessment. Much more worrying was the increasing polarisation of Nigeria along geographic and religious lines. Obasanjo swept the South, including the south-west where he had lost four years earlier, but lost considerable ground in the North. For a nation in which ethnicity and religion tie in strongly to geography, such a trend was seen by many as particularly disturbing. Other commentators might simply note that in 2003, unlike 1999, Obasanjo was running against a Northerner and could therefore expect his support to erode in the North. Obasanjo won more Northern states than Buhari, but the latter did well in his region of NW, winning Kano and retaining other ANPP states.

Since leading a public campaign against corruption and implementing economic reforms in his country, he has been widely seen abroad as an African statesman championing debt relief and democratic institutions (three times rejecting government change by coups d'état in Africa as the chairperson of the African Union). Critics of his politics say that he has used the campaign to fight his enemies and not to transform Nigeria.

Obasanjo's second term was more effective than the first. He had been able to control the party and got effective support from the National Assembly. Many governors, mostly from his party, were either exposed or prosecuted for corruption. Some ministers and state officials were also dismissed or prosecuted for corruption. Also, the Senate President was removed at Obasanjo's insistence, after he had been exposed for receiving cash for budget approval from a minister. The country witnessed the trial and dismisal of senior Naval officers for corruption and similar faith for the chief of police. Some governors too were removed for corruption, though, some judges reversed some decision. Obasanjo himself is seen as a corrupt leader with oil revenues going missing from the federation account and paying out over $50bn on power sector to non-existent companies.

He was able to attract technocrats and Nigerian expatriates to his administration. They were able to plan various reforms in the country administration. They made effective contribution to the country economic planning and development. His administration had now established future planning and development for the country for the next five years.

He was well known for supporting and facilitating many illegal executive actions and ignoring judgements against his government including judgements delivered by the Supreme Court. Examples included the illegal withholding of funds due to Lagos State Local Governments for more than 2 years after the Supreme Court ordered its immediate release. He also supported the illegal impeachment of several corrupted state governors which the Supreme Court also reversed. The National Judicial Council demonstrated its independence by dismissing several judges who connived with the executive to undermine the constitution during his reign.

He was not able to trickle down reforms and development effective to states and local government level, even in the states controlled by his party. The states and local governments are still riddled with corrupt officials. Also, he failed to solve police and security issues in the country. He also didn't provide uninterrupted power supply for Nigerians.

Before Obasanjo's administration Nigeria's GDP growth had been painfully slow since 1987, and only managed 3% between 1999/2000. However, under Obasanjo the growth rate doubled to 6% until he left office, helped in part by higher oil prices. Nigeria's foreign reserves rose from $2 billion in 1999 to $43 billion on leaving office in 2007. He was able to secure debt pardons from the Paris and London club amounting to some $10 billion. Most of these loans were secured and spent by past corrupt officials.

In 2005 the international community gave Nigeria's government its first pass mark for its anti-corruption efforts. However, a growing number of critics within Nigeria have accused Obasanjo's government of selectively targeting his anti-corruption drive against political opponents and ethnic militants, ignoring growing concerns about wide-scale corruption within his own inner political circle.

On October 23, 2005 (just hours after the crash of Bellview Airlines Flight 210), the President lost his wife, Stella Obasanjo, First Lady of Nigeria on the operating table during a tummy- tuck surgery in Spain. Obasanjo has many children, who live throughout Nigeria, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Stella was not the first wife he lost. In 1987, his ex-wife Lynda was ordered out of her car by armed men, but was fatally shot for failing to move quickly.

Obasanjo was embroiled in controversy regarding his "Third Term Agenda," a plan to modify the constitution so he could serve a third, four-year term as President. The bill was not ratified by the National Assembly. Consequently, President Obasanjo stepped down after the April 2007 general election.

In March 2008, Obasanjo was indicted by the Nigerian parliament for awarding $2.2bn-worth of energy contracts during his eight year rule, without due process.

Revelations are also coming out of the massive corruption perpetrated by the largely Yoruba and Hausa dominated cabinet under Obasanjo. He was ultimately the supervisor of the ministry charged with managing the country's oil resources. Accusations that have bypassed his cabinet include mismanagement of funds for road projects, the sales of the country's businesses(Nitel, Nicon Noga Hilton Hotel etc), land allocations, and oil blocks to himself and his Igbo and Hausa investors.

Obasanjo is a member of the Africa Progress Panel (APP), an independent authority on Africa launched in April 2007 to focus world leaders’ attention on delivering their commitments to the continent. The Panel launched a major report in London on Monday 16 June 2008 entitled Africa's Development: Promises and Prospects.

Obasanjo has recently been appointed Special Envoy by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon to war torn Democratic Republic of Congo. He has held separate meetings with DRC President Joseph Kabila and rebel leader Laurent Nkunda.

Obasanjo's first wife Remi Obasanjo recently (2008) published a book detailing series of violent abuses and multiple adulterous activities during her marriage to him in the sixties.

This article contains material from the Library of Congress Country Studies, which are United States government publications in the public domain.

To the top

Nigerian general election, 2007

Coat of arms of Nigeria.png

The Nigerian general elections of 2007 were held on 14 April and 21 April 2007. Governorship and state assembly elections were held on 14 April, while the presidential and national assembly elections were held a week later on 21 April. Umaru Yar'Adua won the highly controversial election for the ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP) and was sworn in on 29 May.

On May 16, 2006 the Nigerian Senate voted to block a constitutional amendment which would have allowed its president to serve more than two terms in office. President Olusegun Obasanjo thus could not pursue a third term. Additionally he was unsupported by Atiku Abubakar, his vice-president. Presidential candidates were announced in late December 2006, and 50,000 assault rifles were ordered to help the military maintain order during the election. Umaru Yar'Adua contested the election for the ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP), and the opposition All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) chose Muhammadu Buhari. Atiku Abubakar, the current Vice-President, announced on 25 November 2006 that he would contest the election, and he subsequently became the presidential candidate of the Action Congress in December.

The PDP controls 28 of the 36 states, but the largest city, Lagos, has been in the hands of the Alliance for the Democracy (AD) since 1999.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared Abubakar ineligible to run due to fraud charges. A High Court had ruled that the commission could not disqualify candidates, but INEC claimed that the constitution barred candidates from running if indicted. Another superior court, the Court of Appeal, ruled in favour of the Electoral Commission by saying that it has powers to disqualify candidates. Abubakar attempted to get on the ballot via court challenge. In a case that came before the apex court, the court ruled that INEC has no constitutional powers to disqualify any candidates for the election, clearing the way for Abubakar to run. The Supreme Court, the country's highest judicial body, confirmed this ruling and reaffirmed Abubakar's candidacy.

Adebayo Adefarati, the candidate of the small Alliance for Democracy, died shortly before the election on 29 March 2007. This raised the possibility of the election being delayed, as the law provides for a delay under the circumstances if requested by the party that had nominated the candidate; however, a spokesman for INEC said that the election would not be delayed. He said that the party could nominate a replacement candidate.

Nigerian military killed at least 25 suspected Islamic militants 18 April, while battling extremists who attacked a police station on 17 April in Kano, days before the election. Shortly before voting began on 21 April, there was an alleged attempt in Bayelsa State to kill Goodluck Jonathan, who is the PDP vice-presidential candidate and the governor of the state, as well as a failed attempt to destroy INEC headquarters in Abuja with a truck bomb.

Nigeria has never yet managed a peaceful handover from one democratically elected president at the end of his constitutional term to the next. The most recent failed election was the 1993 election of M. K. O. Abiola, which was annulled by Ibrahim Babangida, the military dictator ruling at the time. General Sani Abacha eventually seized power, and when Abiola tried to claim his presidency, he was imprisoned until his questionable death in 1998.

The ruling PDP won 26 of the 32 states, according to INEC, including Kaduna State and Katsina State, where the results were contested by the local population; the election will have to be rerun in Imo State and Enugu State due to complications. By the last count, Obasanjo's PDP party had won 29 of 33 states so far declared, with Human Rights Watch describing the vote-rigging as "shameless".

Following the gubernatorial and state assembly elections on 14 April, 18 parties, including those of Abubakar and Buhari, demanded on 17 April that the presidential election be postponed, that INEC be disbanded, and that the earlier elections be annulled; otherwise, they said that they would consider boycotting the presidential election. On 19 April, however, both Buhari's ANPP and Abubakar's Action Congress said that they would not boycott the election.

The 60 million presidential election ballot papers were kept in South Africa to prevent tampering. However, last-minute changes to add Abubakar to the list caused problems in distribution of ballots as papers did not arrive from South Africa until Friday evening. The reprinted papers were not serially numbered as was intended.

Official figures on voter turnout were not released but the turnout was estimated at 57.5 percent of 61.5 million registered voters.

The first results to be released, from Rivers State, showed a large majority for Yar'Adua. On April 23, Yar'Adua was declared the winner by INEC, which said that he had received 70% of the vote (24,638,063 votes). Buhari was said to be in second place with 18% of the vote (6,605,299 votes), while Abubakar was placed third with about 7% (2,637,848 votes). Both Buhari and Abubakar rejected the results. The opposition candidates believe the election was rigged in Yar'Adua's favor.

Outgoing president Olusegun Obasanjo stated in a televised address that the election "could not be described as perfect".

The results did not disclose the total votes scored in the states or the percentages of the scores by the presidential candidates.

Yar'Adua was inaugurated on 29 May 2007.

The national chairman of the Democratic Peoples Alliance (DPA), Chief Olu Falae, with leaders of the African Democratic Congress (ADC), the Action Congress (AC), All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), National Advance Party (NAP) and the National Democratic Party (NDP), has called for the setting up of an Interim National Government to conduct credible elections in the country. Falae explained that the country needed an ING to guard against the emergence of the military on the political scene.

The Atiku Abubakar Campaign Organisation claimed that the INEC deliberately left 70 percent of the ballot papers in a warehouse in Johannesburg, South Africa. They claimed that the contractors could have freighted the entire 200-ton consignment into the country three days before the election (Thursday) but the INEC told them to bring only 30 percent of the ballot papers.

One group of observers said that at one polling station in Yenagoa, in the oil-rich south, where 500 people were registered to vote, more than 2,000 votes were counted.

Felix Alaba Job, head of the Catholic Bishops Conference, cited massive fraud and disorganisation, including result sheets being passed around to politicians who simply filled in numbers as they chose while bribed returning electoral officers looked away.

A spokesman for the United States Department of State said it was "deeply troubled" by election polls, calling them "flawed", and said it hoped the political parties would resolve any differences over the election through peaceful, constitutional means.

Buhari and Abubakar filed petitions to have the results of the presidential election invalidated due to alleged fraud, but on February 26, 2008 a court rejected the petitions. Buhari and Abubakar said that they would appeal to the Supreme Court.

To the top

Joy Ogwu

Joy Uche Angela Ogwu (born August 23, 1946) is a former Foreign Minister of Nigeria. She was the second woman to hold the post in the history of Nigeria. Prior to her ministerial career, Dr. Joy Ogwu, who is from Delta State, served as Director–General of the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA).

She has advised the United Nations on disarmament issues and has published books promoting more African ties to Latin America. She is the former Chair of the Board of Trustees of the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR).

She was appointed Foreign Minister by Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo on August 30, 2006. Joy Ogwu is currently The Ambassador designate to the United Nations. Her appointment was announced in April 2008.

Joy Ogwu obtained her BA and MA in Political Science from Rutgers University. She later received her Ph.D. from the University of Lagos in Nigeria. While obtaining her Ph.D. in 1977, she joined the Institute of International Affairs at the University of Lagos.

Professor Ogwu started her career as an assistant lecturer at the Nigerian National War College and the Nigerian Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS). She subsequently joined the NIIA as a lecturer, obtaining a research fellowship during which she authored her first book, Nigerian Foreign Policy: Alternative Futures (Macmillan, 1986). She eventually headed the research department in International Politics, leading on to her role as the first female Director General. Professor Ogwu's career has been distinct in its additional focus on the developing countries of Latin America enabling an investigation into the possibilities of a proficient South-South relationship between Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America. In this capacity she held a visiting fellowship at the University of London's Institute of Latin American Studies and has been published extensively in Portuguese, Spanish, French and Croatian. As an expert on security issues, she serves on the United Nations Secretary General's Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters.

As a woman in a foremost position in her distinguished career specialization, Ogwu has become a voice for women's development and human rights. In this subject, her perspective spans Asia Pacific, Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa with prolific publications on regional aspects of the subject. Her participation in the government under the auspices of NIIA and the Presidential Advisory Council on International Relations enabled positive contribution to practical government policy such as the construct of the Nigeria-South America relationship on a macro level and the United Nations Educational Social and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) funded program for teaching human rights in Nigerian Schools on a micro level. Furthermore, her continual role on the Nigerian National Delegation to UN General Assembly exhibits her contribution as an influential figure in the formation of Nigeria's relationship with the rest of the world.

Joy Ogwu currently serves as Nigeria's Ambassador/Permanent Representative to the United Nations.

To the top

Source : Wikipedia