Nigeria Poll Makes History With Newly Elected President

kim kardashian

During election time in Nigeria, there’s a great deal of corruption that ensues within its political sphere, but on March 31, Muhammadu Buhari made history. He is the first political candidate to oust a Nigerian president through the ballot box. Buhari beat incumbent Goodluck Jonathan by more than 2.5 million votes, according to BBC News.

“A new day and a new Nigeria are upon us,” Buhari said after he won on Tuesday, according to CNN. “The victory is yours and the glory is that of our nation.”

Jonathon called the 72-year-old retired military general, accepting his loss. He also provided a written statement to the people of Nigeria.

“I thank all Nigerians once again for the great opportunity I was given to lead this country, and assure that I will continue to do my best at the helm of national affairs until the end of my tenure,” Johnathan said.

For Buhari, this peaceful transition of power shows that Nigeria is moving up the hill of democracy, but as the Boko Haram enters into their six-year insurgency in the north, the former military leader may be in for a rude awakening. In a report by The National Geographic,the Boko Haram attempts to overthrow the Nigerian government and eventually turn northern Nigeria into an Islamic state by attacking institutions of the Nigerian government, churches, schools, bus stations and mosques.

This Islamic extremist group made national news after kidnapping more than 200 girls from a boarding school in the northern town of Chibok last year. The Boko Haram are “influenced by the Koranic phrase which says: ‘Anyone who is not governed by what Allah has revealed is among the transgressors,’” according to BBC News, which includes Buhari and anyone else who follows Western values and ideologies, like receiving an education.

The retired military leader, who is a Sunni Muslim and a native of the Northern region of Nigeria, may have a hard time stopping the Boko Haram, but if he works toward creating more jobs in Nigeria, young boys and men wouldn’t feel driven to join such radical groups.

According to the National Bureau of Statistic there’s 20.3 million Nigerians that are unemployed. From that number “there are no fewer than 5.3 million youths” who are jobless says the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. In a country that the National Geographic declares to “[hold] some of the world’s richest oil deposits,” it is alarming to see Nigeria’s unemployment rates so high.

Since joblessness is a huge concern in Nigeria, especially for its youth, “the Nigerian government at all levels, perhaps with support from interested international action, could institute monitoring and regulation of religious preaching; strengthen education, job training, and job creation programs; design robust programs to aid destitute children; promote peace education; and embark on an anticorruption campaign,” as the United States Institute of Peace suggested in their special report on Boko Haram.

There’s no definitive solution to what may bring peace in northern Nigeria but the Nigerian populous seem positive that Buhari will do what Jonathan and other leaders before him, have failed to provide, which includes spreading oil wealth more equitably and tackling the Boko Haram.

Photo Via flickr/ Chatham House


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