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Former president Umaru Yar’Adua

The stability of Africa’s most populous state continues to defy the doomsayers. When the democratically elected president Olusegun Obasanjo ended his second term of office in 2007, a quiet, self-effacing academic, Umaru Yar’Adua took his place. Last week he died of heart disease, not yet 60.

Not everything Yar’Adua did was good. His most grievous sin was to fire Nuhu Ribadu, the pathbreaking head of the country’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission that successfully prosecuted many of Nigeria’s most egregiously corrupt…

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