Nigeria’s newly inaugurated President Muhammadu Buhari commences the task of rebuilding Africa’s largest economy as a tall order in his inaugural address
Buhari inaugurated as Nigeria’s 5th elected president
On May 29 2015, President Muhammadu Buhari, the presidential candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC) was sworn-in at a well-attended ceremony in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital. The occasion attracted over 50 heads of state and governments, high level delegations, diplomats, and dignitaries from Africa and the world. At the inaugural ceremony, Chief Justice of Nigeria, Honourable Justice Mahmud Mohammed administered the oath of office on President Buhari and the vice president, Professor Yemi Osibanjo. The event marks the culmination of the presidential election won by Buhari, the candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC) on March 28, 2015 defeated the then incumbent president, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan with over two million votes margin. The election has been described as defining moments for Nigeria by many analyst given the success achieved by the opposition party. The former President Jonathan conceded defeat in an unprecedented display of maturity in Nigeria’s political history.
All the past Nigerian heads of states, General Yakubu Gown, former President Shehu Shagari, General Ibrahim Babangida, Chief Earnest Shonekan, General Abdulsalam Abubakar, former President Olusegun Obasanjo, and the outgoing President Goodluck Jonathan. The event attended by fifty Africa heads of states and governments, the United States delegation led by the US Secretary of State, the United Kingdom Foreign Minister, the Korean Foreign Minister among others.
Abuja Nigeria’s capital came alive with pre and post inaugural events where the prospect of a new Nigeria was headlined by participants who reaffirmed Nigeria economic and business potentials. Through the week, Nigeria was on the spotlight as the nation enters a new era of goodwill, prosperity and unalloyed by its allies and partners.
Editor note - (For full report on Nigeria March 2015 elections see - Korea Post May 2015 edition ? www.koreapost.com).
Policy focus of Buhari administration
President Buhari was elected into office on the strength of a strong anti-corruption antecedent that bolstered the APC presidential campaigns in March 2015 election. In his inaugural speech, the President outlined the administration‘s key priorities focused on rebuild the ailing economy through innovative approaches that enable growth in all sectors. He surmised that the agenda of the APC led federal government will revamp the economy through addressing the challenge of power supply, enabling environment for the private sector, support to medium and small scale businesses, and employment and job creation, robust anti-corruption framework, rebuild confidence in public service to be effective, tackle incidences of Boko Haram insurgency in the north east of Nigeria, and tackle development in the oil rich Niger-delta region. The agenda will also focus on strengthening the armed forces to play their role in the country. Buhari noted that the administration will raise Nigeria’s profile in the international arena with Nigeria playing effective role in tacking issues such as combating cross-border terrorism, sea piracy, refugees and boat people, financial crime, cyber crime, climate change, and the spread of communicable diseases. The president assured that Nigeria will sustain the on-going cooperation with Nigeria’s West African neighbours Niger, Chad, and Cameroun in tackling the Boko Haram insurgence in the region.
The president’s inaugural address set the tone for the administration’s agenda to return Nigeria to the path of prosperity and greatness with key priorities include revamping the economy, tackling the security challenge and insurgence, reposition the public service, and elevate Nigeria’s international profile.
The Change Mantra
President Buhari promised to run all-inclusive governance that seeks to improve the livelihood of the citizens. For the president, all citizens can be assured that he will be fair to all irrespective of religion or ethnic or political persuasions. He sought for the citizens’ support and co-operation is critical towards actualising government’s development agenda. The expectations among Nigerians on the new administration promise to deliver on its agenda are high given the goodwill it enjoys at home and globally. The election of President Buhari as APC presidential candidate was hinged on ‘the change mantra’ which was received cross section of citizens that believes it meets their hope for a new Nigeria. Again, the March 28, 2015 presidential elections in Nigeria has set the mood for other African countries struggling with democracy to take a cue in managing diversity leading to stable democracy.
Nigeria under Buhari
The next four years will see provide leadership that resonates through the citizens as he commence the journey to rebuild the biggest economy in Africa. The commitment to return Nigeria to the global arena so that will continue to play leading role was demonstrated by the show of solidarity by heads of states and government from Africa, Asia, Europe and America that attended the inaugural ceremony in Abuja. The new global partnership which the Buhari administration plans to lead will result in increased prosperity for Nigeria, a country with a great resources human and natural resources. Just within the first one week in office, the president has commended engagement with West African neighbours with a state visit to Chad and Niger in a diplomatic shuttle to consolidate the fight against the Boko Haram insurgence in Nigeria where the multi-national joint military operations are working with Nigeria to defeat the terrorists. In the coming years hopes are high that Nigeria will regain her place in the international arena as promised by President Buhari. The signs for a great future are obvious.