Bye Bye President Jonathan

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, who signed a draconian anti-gay law last year during his term but failed to effectively combat the rise of Boko Haram terrorism and corruption in his nation, found himself on the losing end of the March 28  Nigerian elections.

Karma is a you know what, isn’t it President Jonathan?

Moving into the presidential villa in Abuja soon will be 72 year old opposition leader Muhammadu Buhari, a retired Nigerian army major general who once ruled the country from December 31, 1983-August 27, 1985 after a military coup d’etat before he was himself deposed in a military coup and imprisoned for 40 months.

This was the second time that Jonathan and Buhari had faced off in an election that would determine who would lead the most populous nation in Africa.

Nigeria's former military ruler and presidential aspirant of the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) Muhammadu Buhari - December 2014

The president-elect’s record is mixed.  While Buhari is regarded as incorruptible in a nation that has been plagued with it messing with its economic growth and development, and took steps as a military leader to eradicate graft as a by jailing 500 politicians, officials and businessmen, his term was also remembered for human rights abuses.

Buhari comes from the Muslim north and backed sharia law there, which led to suspicions in Christian dominated southern Nigeria that he had a secret radical Islamist agenda that contributed to his losses in the last three presidential elections.   He also escaped a July 2014 Boko Haram assassination attempt on his convoy in Kaduna.

But after getting the support of key heavyweight defectors from Jonathan’s People’s Democratic Party, support from influential Nigerian Christian leaders and promising to end the Boko Haram insurgency within months of his election, Buhari made history by becoming the first challenger to knock off a Nigerian presidential incumbent.

As to what that means for the Nigerian TBLGQ community, we’ll have to wait and see.

Will be interesting to see once he is inaugurated what happens in Nigeria under Buhari’s leadership and what it means on an African continent in which one out of every five people on it is Nigerian.

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