Africa News blog

African business, politics and lifestyle

Nigeria: Ten years of civilian rule


Nigeria marks its first 10 years of unbroken civilian rule on Friday after emerging from nearly three decades of uninterrupted military dictatorship on May 29, 1999.

The political elite in Africa’s top oil producer are rolling out the drums to celebrate the milestone.  And why not?

Olusegun Obasanjo, a former military ruler who won elections in 1999, ended Nigeria’s pariah status and brought Africa’s most populous nation back into the international fold, helping secure an $18 billion debt write-off in 2005.












Power was then transferred to President Umaru Yar’Adua in 2007 – the first successful transition from one civilian leader to another since independence from Britain in 1964 – although the election was condemned by observers for widespread rigging.