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Africa: Bola Tinubu sworn in as Nigerian president amid hopes and doubts.

Bola Tinubu became President of Nigeria on Monday, at a time of unprecedented challenges for Africa’s most populous country, leaving some citizens hopeful for a better life and others skeptical about his government’s ability to do better than the one he succeeded.

President-elect of Nigeria Bola Tinubu
President-elect of Nigeria Bola Tinubu | Photo Credit: AP Photo/Ben Curtis

He succeeds President Muhammadu Buhari at the head of a country that, by 2050, is set to become the world’s third most populous nation, on a par with the United States, after India and China.

Promising democratic dividends

Bola Tinubu, former governor of Lagos, Nigeria’s economic hub, promised to continue the efforts of his predecessor, Muhammadu Buhari, to deliver democratic dividends to the citizens of a country where deadly security crises, widespread poverty and hunger have left many frustrated and angry.

In his first comments as president, Bola Tinubu, who also belongs to President Buhari’s party, declared that hope is back in Nigeria and said he would work beyond improving economic and security conditions to uniting a deeply divided nation and ensuring fairness and justice for aggrieved groups.

The enormity of the challenges

However, the new president’s ambitious plans could be threatened in his first 100 days in office by a mountain of challenges, ranging from insecurity and fiscal crisis to poverty and growing public discontent with the state, said Mucahid Durmaz, senior analyst for West Africa at risk intelligence firm Verisk Maplecroft.

Some analysts believe that Tinubu’s promise and the hope it inspires are reminiscent of Buhari, the first former military leader to be elected president in 2015.

Insecurity, poor governance, and economic difficulties

In Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, residents cited economic hardship and insecurity as the main challenges they have faced during the eight years of the Buhari government.

Nigeria’s development has slowed for years under the weight of poor governance and pervasive corruption, making it difficult for its citizens to benefit from the high revenues of Africa’s largest oil producer.

Nigeria is already in crisis. Given the difficult situation, Mr. Tinubu must also act quickly and decisively to resolve Nigeria’s security crisis, analysts said.

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Africa: Bola Tinubu sworn in as Nigerian president amid hopes and doubts.

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