Return of Baba 'Go Slow'.

Author:Ezeh, Peter
Position:Around Africa: Nigeria - Essay

In his initial pronouncements following his election victory, President Buhari has returned to his old script and says he will fulfil the pledges he made the first time around. But is he in a position to do so or can the country expect another series of failures? Analysis by Peter Ezeh.

After Muhammadu Buhari, incumbent President and retired infantry general, was named the winner of Nigeria's Presidential election, his deputy, Yemi Osinbajo, led a team of ministers to pay him a congratulatory visit. This was the first visit by a group of Nigerians following the release of the result of the election, which at some point was neck and neck between Buhari's All Progressives Congress (APC) and the opposition People's Democratic Party (PDP).

During the visit, Buhari was forthright in what Nigerians should expect in his second tenure as President. "My last lap of four years," he told his visitors in a widely reported remark, "is going to be tough."

One of the defining characteristics of the President is candour. When reporters went to the polling booth where he himself voted to ask if he would accept the results of the elections and congratulate his opponents should he lose the election, he told them, "I will congratulate myself because I am the one that will win." You can always tell where he stands. You can trust him, as the cliche goes, to call a spade a spade.

In that meeting with members of his cabinet, he said that in his new tenure he was going to continue with the original agenda which came into office with four years ago. His three cardinal programmes are: fighting corruption, boosting the economy, and improving security. The problem, though, is that the percentage of Nigerians who think that he has performed below expectations on all three goals is increasing.

Corruption in Nigeria is actually reported to have grown during President Buhari's first tenure. On the eve of his assumption of office in May 2015, Transparency International (TI) ranked Nigeria 136th out the 174 countries surveyed for corruption worldwide. The last TI survey, before this year's Presidential election, showed that Nigeria was now 144th out of 180 countries. The nation had slipped further into corruption than when President Buhari took office.

"The problem with Buhari's approach to the anti-corruption fight is that corruption is defined in a way that is far narrower than the world understands it to be," Dr Nnabuike Oguguam, a sociologist, told New African in...

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