8.09.2015. On the 3rd of September 2015, Muhammadu Buhari marked his 100 days in the office of president of Nigeria which were evaluated by different analysts and media stating different strong and successful moments of his rule. Arguably, we can identify two main positive elements of the rule of the new president of Nigeria – the renewed (and quite successful) fight against Boko Haram, and the fight against corruption (which was also a headline of the elections).
Muhammadu Buhari and his political career
The person of Muhammadu Buhari is not new in Nigerian politics. Buhari, born in 1942 in Northern Nigeria served as a military ruler in Nigeria between 1983 and 1985. His regime was known for his fight against the corruption among the political elite, on the other hand it was quite in/famous because of the numerous cases of human rights abuses. His regime ended in 1985 by another military coup which could be seen quite often in the Nigerian political history. He was a presidential candidate of All Nigeria People´s Party in 2006 and 2011, however he was able to succeed and win the elections only in 2015. And he was the first opposition candidate who won the elections over the incumbent president.
Main successes of his 100 days long rule
In the media analyses the 100 days of Muhammadu Buhari in his office it is possible to find many different positive aspects of his rule. Among them two should be granted the highest attention – fight against Boko Haram and the anti-corruption campaign.
The first is the obvious attempt to fight against Boko Haram terrorist group and to defeat it. Goodluck Jonathan, the predecessor of Buhari, was very often criticized of the inadequate attention given to the fight against this terrorist organization. Buhari has replaced all top army generals with questioned reliability because of their contacts with the Islamic group, restored the cooperation with Mali and Cameroon and discussed the possibility of assistance in the fight with the president of the USA Barack Obama. The activities of the terrorist group Boko Haram are now on decline mostly thank to the effective and responsible activity of Buhari.
The other important and positive effect of the presidency of Muhammadu Buhari is his anti-corruption campaign. As it was stated earlier, Buhari has been for a long time known as incorruptible politician and therefore it was expected that he will bring this topic also to his presidency. For example, Buhari has introduced the harmonization of the government revenues and receipts in a Treasury Single Account to block avenues for mismanagement and initiated a series of questioning of high politicians before the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission which can be considered as anti-corruption agency of Nigeria. The effect of his anti-corruption campaign could be seen very quickly when Nigerian foreign reserves rose from 28 to over 31 billion dollars besides the low prizes of oil which creates around 70% of the government revenues.
A way forward
Besides the obvious successes of the presidency of Buhari the lack of management and transfer of power is very often criticized. Buhari has not appointed the cabinet till these days and thus has not transferred any authority to anybody. He has ruled the country himself and concentrated the power in his hands. Lack of clear economic program for the one of the biggest economics in Africa is the second most often mentioned critique and also important issue which needs to be resolved mostly due to slowdown of the Nigerian economy. Buharis´s presidency thus can be identified as unbalanced – he has invested much of the effort to the security and the fight against the corruption, however the economy and political domain has been „malnourished“. However he can use the rest of his days to improve his reputation and potentially compete for the office in the next presidential elections.