Popular
Photo credit should read AFP via Getty Images

NIAMEY, NIGER: Recent picture of Niger's presidential candidate Mamadou Tandja in Niamey. Tandja, a former interior minister from a military dictatorship in Niger took the lead 25 November 1999 in presidential elections, early results from the national electoral commission showed.

Former Nigerien President Mamadou Tandja Has Died

Niger's former President Mamadou Tandja has reportedly passed away at age 82. The Nigerien government has announced a three-day national mourning period.

ABC News reports that former Nigerien President Mamadou Tandja reportedly passed away this past Tuesday. The exact cause of death is unclear but reports indicate that the 82-year-old had been battling age-related illnesses for several years. The former head-of-state succumbed to his illness(s) in a hospital in Niamey, Niger. According to VoA, the Nigerien government officially called for the nation to enter into a three-day mourning period.


READ: Former Malian President Amadou Toumani Toure Has Died

Tandja was elected into Niger's presidency in 1999 and ruled for over a decade until 2010. Tandja was commended for bringing stability to the country when Niger had considerable religious conflicts and was subsequently re-elected in 2004. According to The Washington Post, Tandja attempted to amend the Nigerien constitution to secure a third term after serving two successive presidential terms. A military coup ultimately removed Tandja in February of 2010 following waves of national anti-government protests. Current President Mahamadou Issoufou assumed office in April 2011, a year after Tandja's ousting.

The former president reportedly re-established ties with neighbouring East African countries like Nigeria. He also went on to chair the regional body East Community of Western African States (ECOWAS) during his presidency during the years 2005-2007. Additionally, Tandja maintained presidential ties with the international community and was credited for Niger's economic resurgence through billions of dollars in aid from France.

The former politician's death comes a month before Niger's presidential elections are set to take place on December 27th of this year.

Interview

Adekunle Gold Is Living His Best Life

We speak to the Nigerian star about how marriage and fatherhood have led him to find both newfound happiness and newfound freedom as an artist.

''I'm having the time of my life,'' says Adekunle Gold over a Zoom call while seated in his office in Lagos. ''I'm making songs that are so true to my current energy, my current vibe.'' When I got on the call with the 34-year-old artist on a Wednesday afternoon, the first thing I noticed was his hair tied up in little braids, the second was his wide smile. As we speak, the crooner laughs multiple times but it's his aura that shines through the computer screen, it lets you know better than his words that he's truly having the time of life.

Born Adekunle Kosoko, the popular Nigerian singer got married barely two years ago to fellow artist Simi. Last year, the power couple welcomed their first child. As we talk, Gold points to his journey as a father and a husband as some of the biggest inspirations at the moment not just as far as music goes but as his perspective in life and how he now approaches things.

''My [artistry] has changed a lot because being a father and being a husband has made me grow a lot and more.'' Adekunle Gold tells OkayAfrica. ''It has made me understand life a lot more too. I'm feeling more responsible for people. You know, now I have a kid to raise and I have a wife to support, to be a real man and husband and father for.'' He credits this journey with both his newfound happiness and a newfound freedom as an artist.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

The 5 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Fireboy DML, Juls, Adekunle Gold and more.