Human Rights Watch Scores Yar'Adua Low

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Nigerian President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua has done a poor job of fighting corruption and fixing human rights abuses at his term's halfway mark, the New-York based Human Rights Watch said.

The group said in a statement, made available to the Pan African News Agency (PANA) on Sunday, that it had sent a letter to Yar'Adua asserting that he had under mined Nigeria's foremost anti-corruption body.

It also said that the Nigerian leader had done little to correct 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,'' it stated.

``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,'' it said.

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

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