In what proved to be a historic election in Nigeria this week, with challenger Muhammadu Buhari ousting incumbent Goodluck Jonathan, Boko Haram’s insurgency may finally be put in check—something Jonathan’s administration utterly failed to do.
Though Buhari has a rather sketchy record as the country’s former military dictator, there is reason to believe he has the will—and hopefully the ability—to turn things around.
“I assure you that Boko Haram will soon know the strength of our collective will and commitment to rid this nation of terror and bring back peace,” Buhari said in his first address to the nation. “We shall spare no effort until we defeat terrorism. In tackling the insurgency, we have a tough and urgent job to do.”
He also pledged to rein in widespread corruption in the country.
But Buhari, 72, of the All Progressives Congress (APC), preached a receptive government “for all Nigerians” that would work to eradicate the “evil” of corruption.
He said: “There shall no longer be a ruling party again. [The] APC will be a governing party. We shall faithfully serve. We shall never rule over the people as if they were subservient to government. Our long night has past and the daylight of new democratic government has broken across the land.
“Democracy and the rule of law will be established in the land,” he added. “Let’s put the past behind us, especially the recent past. We must forget our old battles and past grievances and forge ahead.
“You shall be able to go to bed knowing that you are safe and that your constitutional rights remain in safe hands. You shall be able to voice your opinion without fear of reprisal or victimisation. You are all my people and I shall treat everyone of you as my own.”
Buhari won the election with 15.4 million votes compared to Jonathan’s 13.3 million.