The Abuja swearing-in ceremony of Nigeria’s President-elect Bola Ahmed Tinubu, will take place today 29 May 2023. The event will draw dignitaries from around Africa, including Cameroon Prime Minister, Joseph Dion Ngute, who will be representing President Paul Biya.
Bola Tinubu, 71, who won the contested February election promised hope for Nigerians, but he faces serious economic and security challenges ahead.
He will succeed two-term President Muhammadu Buhari amid soaring inflation, record debt, and rising kidnapping-for-ransom and other challenges plaguing the country that is fondly known as ‘The Giant of Africa’.
Mr. Tinubu also faces serious legal huddles as his two closest adversaries are challenging his victory in court. Peter Obi of the Labour party and Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party continue to contest the results of the last elections claim manipulation.
The outgoing president, Muhammadu Buhari, who did not run after eight years in office, said the results were “credible” and the voting was “fair and transparent”.
Mr. Tinubu may, therefore, not have time to celebrate as Nigerians expect a prompt response to the many issues plaguing the West African Nation.
Currently, one in three people are unemployed, inflation is at an 18-year high, the key oil industry is declining, and there remains the endemic problem of lack of constant electricity supply and the challenges of a mass exodus of Nigerian professionals to other countries with better working conditions.
Mr. Tinubu must act rapidly to convince non-voters of his ability to handle some of these issues that his predecessor failed to effectively deal with.
The incoming president, who is an accountant by training is no stranger to challenges. He reinvigorated Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial hub, as a two-term governor.
His track record at that time is what makes his supporters believe that he has what it takes to lead Nigeria, a country of almost 200 million people, technocratically and thoughtfully.
Critics, however, have been quick to point to the fact that the new president has lost the energy he used to aggressively renovate Lagos.
Two international trips since the election have further raised concerns about his health.
While Bola Tinubu says the job does not require Olympic-level athleticism, and his associates point out that US President Joe Biden is 80, they fail to acknowledge that Biden is leading a country with stronger institutions and far fewer challenges than the one Tinubu is inheriting.
Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi, the runners-up in February’s presidential election, are also standing by, expecting to take over from Mr. Tinubu, should the petitions in the election tribunal go their way.
The election tribunal will hear the key arguments on Tuesday and decide the election dispute within six months.
Mimi Mefo Info