WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Howard L. Berman (D-CA), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, today extended condolences to the Nigerian Government and the people of Nigeria upon hearing of the death of President Umaru Yar’ Adua.

“This is a great loss for the Nigerian people,” Berman said. “His remarkable election in 2007 was the first time since Nigerian independence in 1960 that power transferred successfully from one civilian government to another.”

“In spite of his brief tenure as President, he was able to make an impact on how the Nigerian people experience democracy. His presence will be missed among international leaders,” Berman said.

President Yar'Adua died on May 5, 2010 at the Aso Rock presidential villa in Abuja, Nigeria after an extended illness. Shortly after, Acting President Goodluck Jonathan was sworn in as President. On April 6, the United States and Nigerian governments signed a binational agreement to foster closer relations between the two countries. Berman sponsored a provision in the Foreign Relations Authorization Act (H.R.2410) that promoted this new initiative.