Nigerian Tinubu to be sworn in as president amid hopes and skepticism

Associated Press (AP) – Nigeria’s Bola Tinubu will take over the presidency of Africa’s most populous country on Monday in a time of unprecedented challenges, leaving some citizens hopeful for a better life and others skeptical of his government’s better performance than the outgoing.

A former governor of Lagos, Nigeria’s economic hub, Tinubu, 71, will succeed President Muhammadu Buhari to lead a country that by 2050 is set to become the world’s third most populous nation, tied with the United States. United after India and China.

He vowed to build on Buhari’s efforts to deliver democratic dividends to the citizens of a country where deadly security crises, widespread poverty and hunger have left many frustrated and angry. And with his election still contested in court by opposition parties and among many young Nigerians, Tinubu has also pledged to reunite the country.

His manifesto of “renewed hope” prioritizes creating sufficient jobs and increasing local production of goods, investing in agriculture and public infrastructure, providing opportunities economic benefits for the poorest and most vulnerable as well as the creation of a better national security architecture to deal with all forms of insecurity.

Some analysts, however, say the promises made by Tinubu and the hope they bring are reminiscent of when Buhari was first elected president in 2015 as a former military head of state. His priorities were to fight against insecurity and to build the economy but he ended up falling short of the expectations of many.

“No Nigerian president has come into office with as much goodwill from the people as President Buhari, but no other president has squandered it as quickly as President Buhari,” said expert Dr Seun Kolade. developing Nigerian and associate professor at De Montfort University. United Kingdom “In terms of expectations and possibilities, it’s been a very poor eight years, to say the least.”

In the Nigerian capital, Abuja, residents identified economic hardship and insecurity as the biggest challenges they faced during Buhari’s eight-year rule. “People have really suffered (during) this period. People are dying for lack of money, and I pray and hope that we won’t come back to this kind of stuff under the new president,” said Princess Taiwo, a fruit vendor.

After Sunday Imoke lost his brother in a bomb attack in the suburb of Nyanya in 2014, the shopkeeper joined millions in voting against then-President Goodluck Jonathan in hopes of a safer country. But his hopes were dashed by the incumbent president, he said.

“Under Buhari, many people died. Buhari didn’t do well, he didn’t do anything and he didn’t have the fear of God,” Imoke said.

Long before Buhari came to power in 2015, Nigeria’s development had stalled for many years under the weight of poor governance and endemic corruption, making it difficult for citizens to benefit from the high incomes of the country as Africa’s largest oil producer.

Although he reduced the power of Islamic extremists in the northeast and built key infrastructure using foreign loans, many believe that the quality of life and standard of living declined under Buhari. They cite worsening insecurity in other parts of the country, growing poverty as well as an economy struggling with record unemployment, inflation at an 18-year high of 22.2% and growing debt.

“When you combine the lack of opportunity in a crippling environment with a large population of frustrated young people, it’s a ticking time bomb and it’s Nigeria’s history over the past 50 years and Buhari has made it worse” , said development expert Kolade.

Coming from the ruling All Progressives Congress, which has been dogged by corruption allegations, Tinubu’s emergence as Nigeria’s elected president has also raised concerns about the transparency of his tenure.

Although he has often spoken of mustering the best hands to lead Nigeria, the nation’s problem has never been the quality of public servants, but accountability, said Leena Koni Hoffmann-Atar, an associate member of the South Africa Program. Chatham House think tank.

“What we underestimate is that for state institutions to be strengthened, beyond the character and competence of individuals, you need to have accountability processes. And it remains to be seen whether accountability in state institutions will be strengthened under his administration,” Hoffmann-Atar said.

Tinubu must also act quickly and decisively to address Nigeria’s security crises, with the country already in dire straits, analysts said.

“There is already a very significant loss of faith in the government as the protector of the citizens,” said Nnamdi Obasi, senior adviser for Nigeria at the International Crisis Group. “If the new government doesn’t act very decisively, we would have more people seeking their own help and protection.”

Among those now considering protection are villagers in Mangu district in north-central Plateau state, where gunmen killed more than 100 people in a nighttime attack early in the May. Yaputat Pokyes, one of the survivors, said all they expected from the new president was to help them stay alive.

“If he comes, he should give people the security they need,” Pokyes said. “We no longer sleep because of fear; we don’t know when the attackers will return.

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