African press review 30 May 2015

Nigerian press reads the lips of President Muhammadu Buhari after his inauguration, as wish list and grievances mount.


"A new Nigeria beckons" as Buhari takes over as the country’s 5th civilian President, hoots This Day. The paper reports that there are heightened expectations in the country after Buhari pledged to tackle corruption, insecurity, epileptic electricity and a number of other challenges.

This Day reads a renewed sense of purpose in the President’s resolve to tackle the Boko Haram terrorists head on after he announced plans to relocate defence headquarters to Maiduguri, capital of Borno state worse affected by the Islamist insurgency.

Punch says it was impressed by Buhari’s “I belong to nobody”, a blunt warning issued to political forces or anyone one who thought he would be answerable to them in the next four years. The paper also welcomes his promise to break the jinx of under performance -- notably to resolve the power situation and the national shame that an economy of 180 million generates only 4,000MW of electricity and distributes even less.

According to the Guardian, President Muhammadu Buhari peered into the future yesterday as he took the reigns of power and saw a great opportunity to make Nigeria work again. And he urged all Nigerians to seize the moment with him.

Vanguard on its part publishes the reactions of top Nigerian dignitaries to the President’s inaugural message to the nation. The Nigerian Bar Association urged President Muhammadu Buhari to use his first 100 days in office to perfect strategies on how to tackle the problems of infrastructural deficiency, unemployment, insecurity, pervasive corruption, revenue leakages and persistent scarcity of petroleum products.

Nigerian essayist, poet and lawyer David Oluwafemi Adewunmi Abdulateef Fani-Kayode who served as adviser and Minister under President Olusegun Obasanjo, told the paper that he believed Buhari’s pledge not to wage a vendetta against suspected corrupt officials of the past administration was a good decision.

His reaction comes amid mounting pressure from activists who have been urging the Buhari administration to monitor the assets of ex-President Jonathan and other members of the past administration.

With less than a day at the executive mansion, President Buhari will be amused to learn that a Nigerian lawyer is threatening to sue him if he drops the title of Major General from his name. Legal practitioner, Ebunoluwa Adegboruwa told today’s Punch that President Buhari no longer found it fashionable to be called a General adding that the military title has become more of a cross or an albatross to him.

Adegboruwa claims in the petition he has prepared to table before the courts that if Buhari drops the title, he should also relinquish all benefits including the pension he receives as an army General.

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