Muhammadu Buhari was sworn in as the newest Nigerian president on May 29 2015, ousting incumbent president Goodluck Jonathan by more than 2.5 million votes. Buhari, a moderate Muslim with a reputation for being a stern disciplinarian, made the eradication of Boko Haram a pillar of his presidential campaign. Now is the time for newly elected president to make due on his campaign promises and work to unify a culturally fractured Nigeria plagued with one of the most violent Islamic groups in not only Africa but the entire world.
Boko Haram, the Islamic extremist group once nicknamed the Nigerian Taliban has carved a path of destruction throughout northern Nigeria for the last 6 years attacking government, military and civilian targets indiscriminately.
For Buhari to be successful he will have to remedy two primary domestic issues –education and the chronic poverty in northern Nigeria. With only 20 to 40 percent of secondary school students (ages 13-18) currently literate across northern Nigeria, a substantial and comprehensive education system will have to be established with the support of the local Muslim communities. In addition to a massive education reform, Buhari will have to invest heavily in the infrastructure of the north to initially create jobs and ultimately provide a region crippled with poverty, with some regions (Yobe, Bauchi, Gombe, and Jigawa) reporting more than 80 percent of its population without food, safe drinking water and shelter.
For these two massive undertakings, Buhari will undoubtedly have to first provide both safety and security to the entire region before any of these vast programs can be instituted safely.