President Muhammadu Buhari (76) has sworn for a second term to lead Nigeria, struggling with a sluggish economy, a growing threat of radical Islam insurgency, and expanding extreme poverty.
Buhari won 56% of votes in presidential election in February after promising to end conflict in the northeast, extend welfare programs and launch growth with infrastructure constructions. Creation of jobs and reduction of the extreme poverty (87 million) remain the most challenging tasks for the second Buhari’s mandate.
Fighting with the radical Islam militants of Boko Haram and other groups affiliated to Al-Qaida attempting to reconstruct Sokoto Caliphate, has been the ultimate challenge for Buhari since his first mandate. In spite of the considerable efforts, the insurgency did not show any sings of fatigue.
The violence in the northwest has forced 20,000 refugees to flee to neighboring Niger.
According to the UN latest report, Nigeria has overtaken India as the country with the most extreme poor people in the world. The struggle to lift more citizens out of extreme poverty is an indictment on successive Nigerian governments which have mismanaged the country’s vast oil riches through incompetence and corruption.
A British woman and a Nigerian man were shot dead, and three others were abducted by kidnappers.
Police and the British High Commission have named the woman as Faye Mooney (29), and said they were aware of an incident which took place at a holiday resort on April 19, but would not speculate on a motive.
Late Ms.Mooney was working in Nigeria as a communications specialist for aid group Mercy Corps and was one of 12 tourists travelling to the northern city of Kaduna from Lagos, police said. She worked in the country for nearly two years, had been attending a party before the incident, police added.
“I want the government and people of the United Kingdom to know that these atrocious actions do not reflect Nigeria’s national character” former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar said.
“I condemn the killing of British aid worker, Faye Mooney, and her Nigerian partner, Mathew Oguche two days ago in Kaduna State. Several other Nigerians were kidnapped during the episode”.
“These killings must end or Nigeria will lose desperately needed friends, partners and investors” the politician warned.
Incumbent President on Nigeria Muhammadu Buhari is an unequivocal leader of the election race according to the provisional results.
The results showed that incumbent President main rival, businessman and former vice president Atiku Abubakar, could no longer catch up.
The candidate with the most votes nationwide is declared winner as long as they have at least one-quarter of the vote in two-thirds of Nigeria’s 36 states and the capital Abuja, otherwise there is a run-off. Buhari has already secured enough votes to avoid a run-off vote the officials said.
Incumbent Nigeria President Muhammadu Buhari (76) and his main opponent, businessman Atiku Abubakar (72) cast their ballots in presidential election voting after a week’s delay. The two candidates lead among more than 70 challengers.
The voting has started with an episode, animating social networks with a video depicting President Buhari checking his wife’s choice of the candidate.
Out of 84 million registered voters, 72.775 million Nigerians will be able to cast their ballots.
The materials include 707,892 ballot boxes and voting cubicles have been supplied. “We have accredited 120 domestic and 36 international observer groups, deploying accumulative number of 73,000 observers“, the Independent National Electoral Commission reported.
While casting his vote Atiku Abubakar said he would accept the elections outcome.
Nigeria’s Kaduna State toll of victims has risen to 130 people, the state governor said, adding that the motive appeared to be ethnic.
Governor Nasir el-Rufai told correspondents that police were investigating the gunmen’s motive. The attack came the day before a presidential election was planned to be held, but electoral authorities delayed it by one week due to various logistic problem.
However nothing indicated that the attack was related to the election.
President Muhammadu Buhari said he was “deeply disappointed” but urged people to refrain from “civil disorder“, while he reacted upon the decision to postpone the vote announced by the electoral chief, Mr Yakubu, who said: “Our decision was entirely taken by the commission. It has nothing to do with security, nothing to do with political influence.”.
Yakubu insisted the delay was down to problems with the transportation of electoral materials – ballot papers and results sheets – to some regions of the country.
Main rival Atiku Abubakar called for patience but accused the administration of “anti-democratic acts“.
Election officials cited “logistical” reasons for delay in presidential and parliamentary polls.
Nigerian media reported about President’s Buhari decision to sack the INEC chairman Yakubu for the failure to organise the elections according tot he declared schedule.
Mallam Nasir El-Rufai – a poweful ally of Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari warned “people from overseas” who sought to intervene in the country’s election to be held in little over a week would go back in “body bags“.
“We are waiting for the persons who will come and intervene. They will go back in body bags because nobody will come to Nigeria and tell us how to run our country,” said El-Rufai.
The governor of the northern state of Kaduna, Nasir El-Rufai made the comments during a discussion programme on the Nigerian Television Authority when the subject of the international community’s role in elections was raised. It followed after an international reaction in support of a suspended Nigeria’s top judge.
“We have got that independence and we are trying to run our country as decently as possible,” El-Rufai added.
The talk about the role of foreign countries in elections was raised on the programme in which reference was made to concerns expressed by the European Union, the United States and the United Kingdom over the suspension of Walter Onnoghen over allegedly breaching asset-declaration rules.