Nigeria’s new President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari will take office on May 29, 2015 already aware of the challenges facing his government. His knowledge of the teething problems plaguing Nigeria came to the fore when he stated during his elections victory speech that, “Our nation faces many challenges insecurity, corruption and economic decline, “and further declared that, “I pledge to give you my best in tackling these problems,” BBC quoted him as saying.
The most urgent insecurity case the new government must tackle is the Boko Haram insurgency in three north eastern States of Yobe, Borno and Adamawa. President-elect Muhammadu Buhari who happens to be from northern Nigeria and reportedly survived the Boko Haram assassination attempt, better understands the insurgency and how to tackle it. In his victory speech, Buhari said, “In tackling the insurgency we have a tough and urgent job to do. Boko Haram will soon know the strength of our collective will.
We shall spare no efforts until we defeat terrorism.” Boko Haram may be the most visible security threat in Nigeria but attacks by pirates and other armed groups are still recurrent in the country. Taking into account the volatile peace situation in Nigeria, there are also growing fears of renewed insurgency in the oil rich south, especially in the Delta region that may prove more devastating to the country’s economy. Throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, the southern insurgents launched attacks on government and oil installations seeking for a greater share of the country’s oil wealth.
Muhammadu Buhari campaigned on the platform of zero tolerance for corruption and promised to plug the budget holes by tackling the corruption canker warm. Describing corruption as an “even greater evil,” he said, “It creates unjustly enriched people and undermines democracy.” After the observation, Nigeria’s new Head of State declared that, “Corruption will not be tolerated by this government.”
Nigeria’s economy is presently the biggest in Africa and one of the key priorities of the Buhari led-government will be to maintain the position. For this to happen, the authorities will have to heed the aice of banker Henry Farotade who said, “Nigeria is in a situation where we have to get it right, right away. We can’t afford to waste time.” Though being the biggest economy in Africa, Nigeria’s economy is plagued by falling oil prices, stagnation and consequently facing a decline.
Nigeria is one of the largest oil producers in Africa and also the major supplier of crude oil to the United States of America. It also hosts many international oil companies and workers. The new government will have to fight to reverse the complain that vast wealth from oil exports does not trickle down to the average citizen. There are reports that as many as 70 per cent of Nigerians live below the poverty line surviving on less than a dollar a day.
Elizabeth Donnelly, Assistant Head of the African Programme at the London-based Policy Institute Chatham House, the Time cite, says the first step for Buhari will have to be “real charm offensive” in the south, to ensure that southerners know he will be protecting their interests as much as those of his traditional northern constituents. The aice brings to the limelight the fact that the country is unfortunately largely divided along ethnic and religious lines with the Muslim-dominated north and Christian and animist-dominate south.
President-elect Buhari, a northerner in an apparently recognition of the cohesion challenge extended a hand of friendship and conciliation to the outgoing President Goodluck Jonathan, a southerner and his team, stating that, “I have no ill will against anyone. He has nothing to fear.” Concerning the new spirit he plans to introduce, he said, “Government will listen to and embrace all. There shall be no bias or favouritism for any Nigerian.” He also promised that, “We are going to take Nigeria in a new direction and we are going to start by healing old wounds.”
Source : Cameroon Tribune