The new Nigerian president has a colorful history. In the 1980s he was behind a coup that forced out the democratically elected president, but after a year and a half he was himself overthrown during a takeover led by General Ibrahim Babangida. That was not Muhammadu Buhari’s first revolution. He took part in his first coup d’état back in 1966 when he and other generals ousted the military dictatorship of Aguiyi Ironsi.
The recent voting in Nigeria was divided along clear ethnic lines. Buhari is a member of the Hausa ethnic group, and received many votes from fellow tribesmen in the North, but his candidacy was also supported by members of Nigeria’s second largest clan, the Yoruba (in the Southwest), because Buhari selected a Yoruba, Yemi Osinbajo, to be his vice president.
That meant that the Hausa running mate chosen by the current president, Goodluck Jonathan, did not provide him with sufficient support from voters who cast their ballots along ethnic lines, as is often the case in Nigeria. But Goodluck Jonathan (a member of the Ijaw clan), (1) had been counting on the fact that 40% of the Nigerian population does not belong to one of the three main ethnic groups, and those voters feel aggrieved and dissatisfied with the rotating list of Hausa, Yoruba, and Igbo leaders who have ruled Nigeria since the country won its independence in 1960. Read Complete Article
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