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Obasanjo’s Troubling End-Game

In Nigeria today, the key question nowadays is not whether President Olusegun Obasanjo will quit after his second (and final) term expires next year, but who will succeed him. Given Nigeria’s history of sit-tight military dictatorships, that is real progress. Unfortunately, it is not necessarily the president’s doing.

Attempts by Obasanjo’s supporters to persuade the National Assembly to amend the Constitution to enable Obasanjo to continue in office beyond two terms met a solid wall of opposition. Government and commercial activities virtually ground to halt this spring as democracy activists, in alliance with politicians and lawmakers opposed to a third term, battled Obasanjo’s allies to thwart the proposed bill.