BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Somali Swahili French Great Lakes Hausa Portugeuse
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Africa  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS
Friday, 6 September, 2002, 16:10 GMT 17:10 UK
Anxious wait for Nigeria's president
President Olusegun Obasanjo
President Obasanjo is expected to ride out the storm

Political tensions are rising in Nigeria as the country's President, Olusegun Obasanjo, faces the toughest test of his three-and-a-half years in power.

Unless he can pull off a last minute deal with parliament, he will face impeachment proceedings next week.

Charges against Obasanjo
Money withheld from parliament
Oil revenues not accounted for
Sending army against civilians
Failed to fight corruption
His opponents accuse him of misappropriating public funds, of abuse of power and of flouting the country's constitution.

The president's supporters say this is merely a tactic by his detractors to derail his quest for a second term in office in the forthcoming elections.

It should be made clear that President Obasanjo is not being directly accused of corrupt practises.

The main charges, rather, relate to his mismanagement of the country's finances.

No reply

In particular, that funds approved by parliament - amounting to many millions of dollars - have been withheld by the presidency.

Further, that oil revenues that should have been entered into the national accounts have not appeared on the books.

These are serious charges, and ones that the president has yet to formally reply to.

Nigerian Assembly in Abuja
MPs have embarrassed Obasanjo

He is also accused of ordering the army into action against unarmed Nigerian civilians on two separate occasions during his presidency - resulting in the deaths of many hundreds of people - and without the approval of parliament.

All matters that the MPs say, reflect a president who has ridden roughshod over the constitution, acting more like an autocrat than a democratically elected president.

The timing of this impeachment debate is critical.

Mr Obasanjo is seeking a second term of office in elections early next year, but he has not yet received the nomination of his party, the ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP).

And it is members of this party within parliament that are driving this impeachment process forward.

Liability

It reflects a deep anxiety within the PDP that Mr Obasanjo has not performed well during his time in office, and would be a liability rather than an asset in the elections.

Over the next few days, there will be frantic behind-the-scenes negotiations with wavering members of parliament, to try and persuade them to reject the motion.

So far, they have remained firm, and refused to back down.

But Mr Obasanjo is a political fighter, and without the emergence of a credible candidate to oppose him, it is, ultimately, most unlikely that he will be ditched by his party.


Key stories

Election issues

Economic woes

Background

FORUM
See also:

28 Aug 02 | Africa
28 Aug 02 | Business
27 Aug 02 | Africa
13 Aug 02 | Africa
19 Jun 02 | Africa
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Africa stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Africa stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes