Nigeria: Buhari inaugurated in first democratic transfer of power

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By Sarah Taylor  with Reuters
Nigeria: Buhari inaugurated in first democratic transfer of power

Nigeria has witnessed an historic presidential inauguration. Former military dictator Muhammadu Buhari has been inaugurated as president, in the nation’s first democratic transfer of power.

The born-again democrat inherits a host of problems from his predecessor, Goodluck Johnathan, including an economic crisis linked to a drop in oil prices.

Numerous African heads of state and foreign dignitaries – including US Secretary of State John Kerry, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond – were in Abuja to listen to Buhari’s inaugural address.

Celebrations could also be seen elsewhere in the capital.

But Buhari faces challenges in his new role. Nigeria, Africa’s biggest crude producer, has seen oil revenues plummet this year.

Global Market Strategist, David Stubbs, laid out the next steps for the new government:
“I think what we need to see now from this new government is improved internal security and measures to move the economy away from its dependence on oil,” he said. “But that is a difficult task. If you can pull it off, I think the future is bright for Nigeria.”

The 72-year-old leader also vowed to stamp out the Boko Haram militant group and to rescue the hundreds of women and children abducted by the extremists.

A Muslim, Buhari labelled the group “as far from Islam as one can think of.”