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Last Updated: Thursday, 18 May 2006, 13:33 GMT 14:33 UK
Nigeria press hails third term loss
African press

Papers across Nigeria are united in their praise for the Senate decision to throw out the presidential third term bill, with one calling it "democracy in action".

There is widespread condemnation of the attempt by President Olusegun Obasanjo and his backers in the ruling PDP, although one daily urges him to "make peace with the people".

Other commentators look at what may happen next, with one suggesting that "upheaval and horse trading" are now on the political agenda.

WAHAB GBADAMOSI IN THE COMET

Nigerians are rejoicing over the defeat of the tenure elongation bid. This is democracy in action and also an affirmation of the supremacy of people power... The masterminds of tenure extension have proven to be enemies of democracy... The roles played by such Nigerians were ample evidence that they can never be trusted. They deserve to be politically blacklisted.

BABA AHMAD JALINGO IN DAILY CHAMPION

So 3rd term is defeated and with it Obasanjo. That is very humiliating for the proud man... These are tough times for the president... He must make peace with the people that he has wronged so that he can make peace with himself. He must reach deep for the stubborn courage and persistence with which he has been prosecuting unpopular but, perhaps necessary, economic policies for this volte-face. Time is of the essence. Perhaps, both the Presidency and the PDP may reduce the humiliation by bravely doing the right thing now.

IS'HAQ MODIBBO KAWU IN DAILY TRUST

The Nigerian people decisively defeated the Obasanjo clique, because the coalition of the patriotic legislators, the media and the people proved far more powerful than the bullying tactics of Obasanjo... But we must temper our jubilation because the days ahead will be very difficult for the country. Now that they have suffered such a crushing defeat, you can expect the Obasanjo clique to go for vengeance in the days, weeks and months ahead. Every Nigerian knows that Obasanjo is an unforgiving and a very vindictive person. Let us therefore be very vigilant.

NEW AGE

Unfortunately much of what was good in the past seven years (and to be fair considerable achievements appeared in the pipeline) has been undermined. All pretensions to an elevated public morality have been negated. A banner of prudence and purpose has been soiled by those who appeared unconcerned about the spectacle they present. Moral authority has taken a battering.

PRINCE CHARLES DICKSON IN GAMJI

It has got to a point that even the President cannot be trusted to spell out his name without manipulating the spelling as we know it. The PDP and President have and will leave this nation worse than when they met it... If Nigerians had known better we would not have needed to go through this pain called democracy by force... As Obasanjo leaves he should know each of his actions leaves his name hanging in the balance, although the question is how much damage can one do to an already bad name?

DINO MAHTANI IN BUSINESS DAY

Nigeria's political elite is polarised after months of debate over the third term issue... Diplomats fear deep geopolitical divisions could resurface now the succession race is on... The upheaval in party politics could exacerbate tensions across the country as politicians jockey for position and engage in horse trading to cling on to power. Many regional politicians are busy re-arming private militias.

THIS DAY

With the death of the bill and the subsequent burial of the third term ambition of the President, the coast has become clear for aspirants to come in the open and declare their intentions. Consequently, politicians have started nocturnal meetings aimed at launching their aspirations.

BBC Monitoring selects and translates news from radio, television, press, news agencies and the internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. It is based in Caversham, UK, and has several bureaux abroad.






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