Emmanuel Akinwotu

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It is too early to define President Buhari’s presidency. The first 100 days have been illusory; he has made sweeping changes in military personnel and laid the groundwork for the restructuring of the massively bureaucratic and shady petroleum sector. But on Boko Haram–what will be the central issue of his term–progress has been predictably difficult.

Attacks by the Islamist insurgency have increased. Buhari’s decision to move the military HQ to Maiduguri in Borno, right in the heart of the conflict, makes strategic sense but has yet to yield perceivable change. Quite bizarrely, Buhari has given the military a deadline to defeat the group by the end of the year.…  Seguir leyendo »

A false start for Nigeria’s president?

Nigeria’s historic election victory afforded Muhammadu Buhari precious momentum. On foreign policy he has been determined, consolidating international alliances in tackling Boko Haram. But domestically he has been inexcusably passive, whilst Nigeria’s numerous and converging crises persist. Largely of his own volition that momentum has now fizzled away.

7 weeks into his term Buhari is yet to announce his cabinet. In part, the tribal politics of ministerial appointments are difficult to negotiate quickly. Each of Nigeria’s cabinet positions are mandated by the constitution to come from each of Nigeria’s 36 states. Buhari’s desire to have a leaner and less expensive government has been thwarted by this.…  Seguir leyendo »

A year after the Twitter campaign “#bringbackourgirls” put Nigeria on front pages around the world, the whereabouts of 219 schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram on April 14, 2014 remains unknown.

The global clamor for their release, ferocious in the months after the kidnappings, is now modest, by comparison. But the campaign — and even more, the brutal conflict that sparked it — has had major consequences. Over the past year, Nigeria has changed.

On March 28, for the first time in the country’s history, Nigeria’s opposition claimed victory in a presidential election judged fair and free. President Goodluck Jonathan’s ruling party conceded its 16-year grip on power, and is now a weakened force after significant defeats in state elections.…  Seguir leyendo »