Issued by CEMO Center - Paris
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Nigeria's Tinubu in for tough challenges

Monday 13/March/2023 - 11:40 AM
The Reference
Ahmed Adel


Curtains have fallen down on the presidential elections in Nigeria, with Bola Tinubu winning the presidency, after a fierce competition with his main rivals, Atiq Abubakar, the candidate of the People's Democratic Party, and Peter Obi, the candidate of the Workers ' Party.

Tough challenges

The new Nigerian president faces tough challenges during his first term, which ends in 2026.

On top of those challenges is restoring security in the northern and central regions where terrorism is spreading, and in the Niger Delta region located in the south of the country, famous for oil theft, and the activity of some local armed groups.

The second challenge that President Tinubu faces is to lift the people out of the mire of poverty and ignorance, and stimulate investments in the oil and gas sectors, which are characteristic of the country.

Security challenges

African affairs specialist, Nourhan Sharara, says the Nigerian President-elect faces a major challenge at the security level, which his predecessor Muhammadu Buhari failed to address.

This challenge, she added, is constituted by the terrorist group Boko Haram.

She noted that Buhari and his government made attempts to undermine the group, but he failed in this.

"This sparked concern and anger among Nigerians, after the president made several promises to eliminate terrorism," Sharara told The Reference.

She added that the intensity of the violence that met the Nigerian elections, and led to the closure of entire electoral commissions in some areas, magnifies those determinations in front of the president.

Sharara noted that security in Nigeria is now on a hot plate.

"What awaits President Tinubu is not easy," she said. "He realizes this, and this was evident in his first speech after the announcement of his victory in the elections."


Sharara, a researcher on African Affairs, explained that the economic file is no less important.

It is even more difficult, she said, than the security file for the new Nigerian president, in terms of high unemployment rates and the country's suffering from debts estimated at $103 billion dollars.

"So Nigerians are waiting for whoever moves this economic crisis, and it is clear that the new president is taking a previous approach to deal with economic crises," Sharara said.

Confronting Boko Haram

Islamist affairs specialist, Hesham al-Naggar, said Nigeria has come a long way in confronting Boko Haram.

The group, he said, currently suffers from internal fighting and from a conflict with ISIS.

"There is a division, wide splits and the departure of large numbers of Boko Haram, which the government and security agencies are good at exploiting well, whether by containing dissidents or intensifying military operations to inflict a crushing defeat on the group," al-Naggar told The Reference.