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Nigeria: Buhari missing in action while security and economic woes persist

By Jude Michael
Posted on Wednesday, 2 June 2021 16:36

Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari Nigeria February 15, 2019. REUTERS/Luc Gnago

While Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari travelled to Ghana over the weekend for a summit of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) that discussed the political crisis in Mali, at least 24 persons including Ahmed Gulak, a former presidential aide, were killed while two courts and police stations were razed in various states in the south-east. Yet, the growing insecurity is just one of the many challenges the president is struggling with - and many believe he has lost control of his administration.

In addition to spiralling violence by non-state actors carrying out attacks across the country, the Nigerian economy has been on a downward slope, forcing millions of citizens out of jobs and depriving them of livelihoods.

“Things have never been this bad in Nigeria, especially when you now play the insecurity against the background of poverty and unemployment,” says Idayat Hassan, director of the Centre for Democracy and Development, an Abuja-based policy advocacy and research organisation.

Increasing security challenges have destabilised the country in the face of an emboldened Boko Haram (an insurgent group locally referred to as bandits, that is behind kidnappings in the northwestern region in exchange for ransom) as well as growing insurrections in the south-east and south-west.

“It is as if the government has closed up for the year and they are waiting for 2023 to come so they can exit and usher in a new administration,” Hassan says.