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Vol 51 No 1

Published 8th January 2010


The elite scrambles for cover

Desperate to stop the crisis over President Yar’Adua’s illness from spinning out of control, senior politicians plot compromise deals

Politicians in Abuja currently have two main imperatives: to forestall a military coup and to prevent war restarting in the Niger Delta (AC Vol 50 No 25). They fear either development would strain national unity to breaking point. Then there is the matter of who controls the more than US$80 billion a year that Nigeria earns from oil and gas exports. Some back a compromise which would allow Vice-President Goodluck Jonathan to hold the presidency until the 2011 elections. He would then be pressed to appoint a vice-president from the Muslim north, who could contest the presidential primaries for the governing People’s Democratic Party (PDP) later this year. That would defer political clashes and defuse the current crisis.

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