Nigerian President Dead: Lost Against Illness at the Age of 58

Nigerian President Umaru Yar’Adua has been confirmed dead by a presidential aide and a government minister. The president has been diagnosed with Acute Pericarditis after he has complained chest pain last fall. He died at 9 p.m. (2000 GMT) Wednesday at the Aso Rock presidential villa with his wife Turai at his side, presidential spokesman Olusegun Adeniyi told The Associated Press.

The government has announced seven days of national mourning and he would be buried on Thursday in his home state in Katsina. “Nigeria has lost the jewel on its crown, and even the heavens mourn with our nation tonight,” Acting President Goodluck Jonathan said.

Yar’Adua took office in 2007 in a country notorious for corruption and gained accolades for being the first leader to publicly declare his personal assets when taking office.

He had tried to peacefully end an insurgency in Nigeria’s oil-producing Niger Delta that had attacked the petroleum infrastructure, allowing Angola to overtake Nigeria as Africa’s no. 1 oil exporter.

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