Muhammadu Buhari has won a second term as Nigerian president after his victory in the presidential election was announced yesterday. Buhari has been re-elected to serve another four-year term after defeating his main rival and former vice-president Atiku Abubakar.
Buhari defeated Atiku with a margin of nearly four million votes although Atiku and his party the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) rejected the result. The Chairperson of the party Mr. Uche Secondus called the result “incorrect and unacceptable”.
The turnout was lower than expected at a record 35.6% and this was partly blamed on the delays and violence that marred the run to the polls after the postponement of the elections for a week. So far no electoral fraud has been cited by any of the independent observers that monitored the polls.
After he was officially announced, Mr. Buhari said that his new administration will intensify its efforts in security, restructuring the economy and fighting corruption.
The overall results indicated that Buhari got 15.2 million votes while Atiku received 11.3 million votes. Results by region show that Buhari did extremely well in the north while Atiku out-numbered him in the south and east.
Challenges ahead of the new term
Mr. Buhari faces some tough challenges in his new term notably corruption that has crippled many aspects of the public. Mr. Buhari will require much more focus, energy and application that was absent in his first term in order to overcome this problem.
Lack of the necessary political support is another big challenge that Mr. Buhari faces in his fight against corruption. The president has enough public backing however, the presence of members suspected of enriching themselves through graft in his party presents such a big obstacle.
Over dependency of Nigeria’s economy on oil revenues is another challenge that needs immediate solution. Nearly half of Nigeria’s population lives in extreme poverty with the unemployment is more than 20%. The World Bank has predicted a sluggish economic growth in Nigeria in the coming year at 2.2%.
Security also stands as another resolved matter for president Buhari with the continued conflicts and clashes between farmers and herdsmen in the belt, instability in the oil-producing Niger Delta and the long term threat of Boko haram Islam extremists in the North.
Issues at hand
Some of the most pressing issues facing Africa’s most populous nation include corruption, power shortages security threats and an economic slowdown. Although Nigeria is Africa’s leading oil producer, corruption has hampered the investment of the proceeds from the industry. Nigeria has had a slow recovery from the 2016 recession and this has resulted into unemployment leaving a large number of young people joining the employment market jobless. About a quarter of Nigeria’s working age population is unemployed.
Who is Buhari?
Buhari is a former soldier, in 1980s he led a military regime for 20 months. Mr. Buhari became the first opposition candidate to defeat an incumbent when he was first elected president in 2015.
Mr. Buhari has been accused by his critics of autocratic leanings and his disastrous tendency towards inaction. They say that his attributes that won him votes four years ago, his strictness and inflexibility have turnout to be liabilities.
However, his supporters claim that he has done well in delivering on campaign pledges mentioning area like cracking down Boko Haram and tackling corruption.