Nigeria’s President-Elect: Mohammed Buhari Pledges To Stop Boko Haram

Muhammadu Buhari
Muhammadu Buhari

The wind of change, which many Ghanaian are hoping would sweep over this country in 2016, is already roaring way across Nigeria. The Government of incumbent Goodluck Jonathan was emphatically swept aside as Nigeria recorded the first loss of an incumbent government in its history.

One factor that led to the change, was the Islamic Terrorist group Boko Haram. They’ve been causing havoc in Nigeria for a while now, carrying out bombings, razing down villages, kidnapping girls and women. The feeling of the populace was that the government’s response to this crisis was lukewarm at best.

So the new President is aware of the expectations on him in that regard. In an op-ed piece for the New York Times, Gen Buhari pledges that his government’s response to the threat would be more serious. He pledges to stop the group, although he says he can make no promises that the abducted Chibok girls can be returned safe and sound.

“When Boko Haram attacked a school in the town of Chibok, in northeastern Nigeria, kidnapping more than 200 girls, on the night of April 14, 2014, the people of my country were aghast. Across the world, millions of people joined them in asking: How was it possible for this terrorist group to act with such impunity? It took nearly two weeks before the government even commented on the crime.

This lack of reaction was symptomatic of why the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan was swept aside last month — the first time an incumbent president has been successfully voted out of office in the history of our nation. For too long they ruled, not governed, and in doing so had become so focused on their own self-interest and embroiled in corruption that the duty to react to the anguish suffered by their citizens had become alien to them.

My administration, which will take office on May 29, will act differently — indeed it is the very reason we have been elected. This must begin with honesty as to whether the Chibok girls can be rescued. Currently their whereabouts remain unknown. We do not know the state of their health or welfare, or whether they are even still together or alive. As much as I wish to, I cannot promise that we can find them: to do so would be to offer unfounded hope, only to compound the grief if, later, we find we cannot match such expectation.

But I say to every parent, family member and friend of the children that my government will do everything in its power to bring them home. What I can pledge, with absolute certainty, is that from the first day of my administration, Boko Haram will know the strength of our collective will and commitment to rid this nation of terror, and bring back peace and normalcy to all the affected areas”

You can read the rest on Nigeria’s new President’s piece on the New York Times website


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