Yar’Adua’s Nigeria record poor

DAKAR, Senegal, June 7 (UPI) — Nigerian President Umaru Yar’Adua has done a poor job of fighting corruption and fixing human rights abuses at his term’s halfway mark, advocates say.

The West African branch of Human Rights Watch said Sunday in Dakar, Senegal, it has sent a letter to Yar’Adua asserting he has undermined Nigeria’s foremost anti-corruption body, done little to rein in an abusive police force and failed to address the root causes of the escalating crisis in the Niger Delta.

There have been serious setbacks during the first two years in addressing Nigeria’s chronic human rights problems and endemic corruption, the group said.

“President Yar’Adua has had two years to show that he meant business when he promised to strengthen the rule of law,” Corinne Dufka, senior West Africa researcher at Human Rights Watch, said in a release. “But instead, it is business as usual. The people responsible for the wholesale pillage of Nigeria’s oil wealth and for arming Niger Delta militants have been left untouched, and the victims of police violence have seen no justice.”

The group urged him to support a proposed Freedom of Information Bill and to hold government officials responsible for embezzling public funds or instigating political violence accountable.

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