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22 Aug 2017

Buhari to Face Serious Internal Problems on His Return to Nigeria

Having returned to Nigeria on August 19, after over three months treatment in the UK, the president Muhammadu Buhari will have to face serious problems. As nothing has been known about his real condition during Buhari’s absence, some old wounds in Nigeria have started to revive.

The current president came back to a country whose oil-dependent economy is in complete disorder and where the Boko Haram terrorists have been continuing to escalate numerous attacks on both civilians and the military in the north of the country, The New York Times journalist points out in the recent article.

Moreover, millions of Nigerians have been keeping on suffering from a massive humanitarian catastrophe caused by the continuous war off by the war. Numerous battles between farmers and nomadic herdsmen in the middle of Nigeria have already left hundreds deceased. Thus, plentiful Buhari`s political opponents have immediately called for his resignation.

On his short Monday`s speech, Buhari mentioned those opponents who were engaged in a blood-spattered civil war years ago to make an autonomous republic of Biafra. He pointed to enemies who “have crossed national red lines by daring to question our collective existence as a nation. It is a step too far.”

The president once again reminded that the unity of Nigeria would never be negotiable. “We will never allow reckless elements to start trouble. When things get bad they just run away and saddle others with the responsibility of bringing back order, if necessary with their blood,” admitted the head of the state.

NAIJ Nigeria also reminds that Buhari`s health condition being kept in secret by the officials has already created nervousness in the country. Therefore, numerous protests from both separatists in the south and deprived inhabitants of oil communities, who just want a better life, were set off. Ordinary Nigerians also want clarity asking the current president either to rule the country or resign forever.

At the same time acting president, Yemi Osinbajo, in political experts` opinion, exercised stable and fruitful leadership, visiting southern regions in economic chaos, presiding over significant economic forums, and going to the northeast to help war victims. After Buhari`s arrival, the vice-president told that the recovery of the president should be understood as the symbolic restoration of Nigeria.

Worries about Muhammadu Buhari’s health have provoked premature speculations about the ticket for his party in 2019 presidential election. In Nigeria, there is a particular situation between the North and the South. There are informal agreements call for the presidency to exchange after two terms between a candidate from the mainly Muslim north and the Christian south. According to the Constitution of Nigeria, if the current president, a northerner, were to resign early, the vice-president Osinbajo, a southerner, would be a president until 2019.

As Nigerian political experts say, a war against Boko Haram that went downhill during his treatment in London will be the worst trouble for the president to deal with. Presently the Boko Haram insurgents have staged frequent suicide bombings in numerous camps for displaced people and city markets. They also commit permanent attacks against military convoys and soldiers. And though the current president promised to stop the war as soon as possible, it seems nobody believes he can ever do it.

Another issue that Buhari will have to challenge is the fight on corruption. Nigeria is considered one of the most corrupted countries on the planet. However, in spite of numerous attempts to fight it, the crimes keep on flourishing. For instance, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission of Nigeria recently traced almost 500 million US dollars’ worth of cash and real estate from the oil minister under the preceding administration, Alison-Madueke. According to the commission's conclusion, the ex-minister purchased a 13-bedroom home, penthouses, and the whole apartment buildings through shell companies.

Additionally, Nigeria`s current president must also fix the nation’s collapsed roads and many other infrastructural objects that make the life of ordinary citizens miserable. Moreover, Buhari should do his best to calm down irritations in the oil-rich south, where people for years have been insisting that their poor communities do not get a fair share of oil income.

Therefore, the continuing absence of the president has reopened many old wounds in the country. They are not as dramatic as might seem to be. However, these problems must be tackled immediately.

But will 74-years old, weak president be able to find strengths to do that? The challenges he is facing now are severe.

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