Current Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari was re-elected last week. “Buhari, of the ruling All Progressives Congress party, secured 56 percent, or 15.2 million votes, in the February 23rd polls,” said Mahmood Yakubu, chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), as reported by TWNews24.
This means Buhari, 76, gets a second four-year term as leader of Africa’s most populated country and the source of its greatest economy. The re-election was never a situation that guaranteed prospect of a new era. Buhari and his opponent, Atiku Abubakar, 72, have been in the Nigerian political arena for decades, and represent two parties in Africa’s oil-rich nation which face a range of problems including corruption, security, and terrorism.
Abubakar, a member of the People’s Democratic Party, refuses to accept the result of the poll, claiming he will confront it in court. In a story by The Vanguard, he suggested “one clear red flag in the decision was the impossibility of states ravaged by the war on terror generated much higher voter turnouts than peaceful states.
The Vanguard further quoted Abubakar: “The former vice president assured his supporters and the entire Nigerian people that together, ‘we will not allow democracy to be emasculated. I hope and pray Nigerians will someday summon the courage to defend democracy. That is the only way we can move away from being the world headquarters for extreme poverty.'”
Here’s my analysis. Whatever the outcome, Nigeria needs to recognize the verdict of the poll and not let it turn into a more violent episode. The people cannot weigh the state down with further security-related issues. In this time, the people need to come together and continue the course, and concentrate on solving the fundamental security risks: for example, groups like Boko Haram have expanded under Muhammadu Buhari’s rule.
President Muhammadu Buhari needs make good on resolving the primary issue in the north and deal with insurgent groups that plague Nigeria. He now has another four years with which to do something none of his predecessors could—something most African countries haven’t done.