Nigerian president-elect vows to take the fight to Boko Haram

Former Nigerian General, Muhammadu Buhari defeated incumbent, President Goodluck Jonathan by 2.5 million votes in the March 28 general election.

This is the first time that an opposition party candidate has won in a Nigerian election.

“I promised free and fair elections and I have kept my word,” said outgoing President Jonathan.

Jonathan went on to give Buhari his “best wishes” in running a country that is under siege by the Islamic extremist group Boko Haram.

“Boko Haram will soon know the strength of our collective will. We should spare no effort,” said the 72 year-old Buhari.

Buhari, a Muslim from Northern Nigeria, first came to power in Nigeria in January 1984, after a military coup the month previous and ran the country until August of 1985.

His time in power in the 1980s is mixed.

He is criticized for the human-rights abuses that took place under his watch at the time, but also is applauded for his tough stance against corruption.

Under his rule, civil-servants who showed up late for work had to do frog jumps, and people had to form neat orderly lines for the bus, otherwise be whipped by soldiers.

He fought corruption by changing the color of the national currency, requiring all citizens to replace their currency in a limited amount of time.

The economy faltered under his regime, as prices rose and the standard of living sharply fell.

Buhari in turn was ousted in a coup in August of 1985 by General Ibrahim Babangida.

General Buhari still defends his coup of 1983.

“It is up to the people. If you choose correct leadership, there won’t be any need for the military regime,” he said in 2005.

In July of 2014 Buhari’s convoy was struck in an apparent assassination attempt by Boko Haram.

One of his election promises is that he will end the Boko Haram insurgency within months.

[BBC][Reuters][Photo courtesy BBC]

1 Comments

  1. Michael Bernard
    Michael Bernard

    I’ve got some high hopes for General Buhari and hope he can be around as long as needed to see his vision through. One of the few 3rd World “leaders” who did not enrich himself the first time he was in power, I hope he can get his government cleaned up and hopefully the reforms last longer than his time in office.

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