Fin de règne mouvementée pour le président Obasanjo

Au Nigéria, la question clé aujourd'hui n'est plus de savoir si le président Olousegun Obasanjo va renoncer au pouvoir à l'issue de son second et dernier mandat qui se termine l'année prochaine, mais qui lui succédera. Etant donné le nombre de dictatures militaires qu'a connu le Nigéria, c'est un véritable progrès, mais le mérite n'en revient peut-être pas au président.

Les partisans d'Obasanjo ont bien tenté de persuader l'Assemblée nationale d'amender la Constitution pour lui permettre d'accomplir un troisième mandat, mais ils se sont heurtés à une opposition résolue. Au printemps, toute l'activité du pays s'est arrêtée quand les militants pour la démocratie, alliés aux hommes politiques et aux parlementaires opposés à un troisième mandat, ont réussi à empêcher l'adoption de l'amendement des partisans d'Obasanjo.

L'échec des partisans d'Obasanjo a trois conséquences importantes. L'autorité du président diminue rapidement et sa mainmise sur son parti, le parti démocratique du peuple (PDP) n'est plus aussi absolue. Les partis d'opposition, les associations de défense des droits humains et les voix critiques du gouvernement qui étaient soumis aux pressions d'Obasanjo et de la machine du PDP qui semblaient irrésistibles ont trouvé un nouvel élan. Obasanjo, aux abois et irrité de voir que ses amis tant au Nigéria qu'à l'étranger (notamment les USA et l'Europe) l'ont trahi en aidant ses adversaires politiques à faire échouer l'amendement, est déterminé à prendre sa revanche.

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