Nigeria set for fresh start

June 10, 1999

Here is an excerpt of an editorial from the Neue Zuercher Zeitung, in Zurich, Switzerland, which was published Monday.

NIGERIA'S military ruler, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar, kept his word. As he announced a year ago, he turned over the leadership of the country on May 29 to a successor elected by the people.

It is only the second time that a Nigerian military government has actually fulfilled a promise to return to barracks.

General Abubakar was following the example of his successor Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo, who in 1979 handed over power to the civilian Shehu Shagari.

General Obasanjo finds himself in a situation that in many ways resembles that of Mr. Shagari.

General Obasanjo's arrival at the presidential palace in Abuja has raised great hopes of an economic and moral new beginning.

Like Mr. Shagari, the new president promises to stamp out corruption and re-establish trust in government and administration.

In his choice of ministers and close advisers, it will soon be seen how serious General Obasanjo is in his promise of transparent government.

It is one thing to present oneself as a servant of the state and the general good, but another to fend off the demands of party friends and discredited old politicians.

Pub Date: 6/10/99

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