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Nigerian president dies

6 May 2010 0:21

Nigerian President Umaru Yar’Adua has died, an official at his office confirmed late on Wednesday.

The website reported that he died at the Nigerian presidential villa.

Yar’Adua won the 2007 presidential election with 24.6 million ballots cast in his favor, which was 70% of the vote.

But the election was highly controversial. Strongly criticized by observers, as well as the two primary opposition candidates, Muhammadu Buhari of the All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP) and Atiku Abubakar of the Action Congress (AC), its results were largely rejected as having been rigged in Yar’Adua’s favor.

Yar’Adua’s new cabinet was sworn in on July 26, 2007. It had 39 ministers, including two from the ANPP.

However, Buhari and Abubakar filed petitions to have the results of the 2007 presidential election invalidated due to alleged fraud, but a court rejected the petitions on February 26, 2008.

President Yar’Adua left Nigeria on November 23, 2009 and was reported to be receiving treatment for pericarditis at a clinic in Saudi Arabia.

He had not been seen in public since and his absence created a dangerous vacuum of power in Nigeria.

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