Nigeria is very important to the region, the continent, and to the United States, yet it remains unsettled as a result of President Yar’Adua’s uncertain medical condition. Since his return home from Saudi Arabia, President Yar’Adua has not been seen publicly or met with members of his cabinet or any of his country’s key political leaders, generating additional unease about the stability of the country and physical capacity of the president to lead the government. In a modern democracy, senior cabinet members and legislative leaders have a right to know the health status of their president and so do Nigeria’s citizens.
In President Yar’Adua’s absence, we applaud the Nigerian leaders who have taken steps to restore confidence in the country’s political system while adhering to democratic principles. We welcome Acting President Jonathan’s commitments on electoral reform, anti-corruption, post-Amnesty programs in the Niger Delta, and justice for the perpetrators of sectarian violence and extra-judicial killings.
As Nigeria deals with its current political crisis, it is essential for the country’s leaders to avoid any actions that will imperil Nigeria’s last ten years of democratic progress as well as the accomplishments that have been achieved under civilian rule. Nigerians have a right to expect their civilian and military leaders to work through their country’s democratic institutions, ensuring that the good of the many triumphs over the ambitions of the few.
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