Nigeria’s Election Brings Dual Crises Back to the Polls: Corruption along with Boko Haram

ABUJA, Nigeria — Muhammadu Buhari won the presidency in a historic election in Nigeria four years ago by promising to crush two scourges in which had plagued the nation for years: endemic corruption along having a war with Islamist extremists.

Back then, Mr. Buhari, a former military general, rode a wave of voter desire to impose greater accountability on the government, end a brutal war with the extremist group Boko Haram along with bring back the hundreds of female students taken as captives.

today, as Mr. Buhari is usually from the final throes of a bruising re-election campaign, he stands accused of falling short on all fronts.

Critics say Mr. Buhari has used his antigraft mantra to crush adversaries. Boko Haram is usually gaining ground, launching sophisticated attacks on weary, underequipped soldiers. along with many of the captive students are still missing.

Out of 60 contenders, Mr. Buhari’s leading opponent is usually Atiku Abubakar, a candidate with little military experience along having a past so checkered with corruption allegations in which the United States refused for years to grant him a visa.

As voters prepare to go to the polls This kind of weekend for what appears to be a tight election in Africa’s most populous country, the electorate has increasingly lost desire in which the government will ever be free of graft. Instead, voters are fixated on mounting violence in pockets of the nation along with everyday issues like having reliable electricity.

“Corruption was there before along with This kind of continues. although what of security? What of employment? along with food?” said Debbie Okochi, who on a recent afternoon was selling electronics at a market in Lagos, where the streets were lined with cardboard cutouts of candidates. “Everything has become worse.”

Both leading candidates are slinging accusations at one another while traveling the country for last-minute rallies. The European Union is usually sending observers.

In a long communiqué released last weekend, President Buhari suggested in which corruption along with vote-buying were infecting the election process.

although Mr. Buhari has backed off some prosecutions in exchange for political support along with overlooked some wrongdoing. This kind of was only after pressure mounted on his policy during the campaign season in which officials brought charges against one of his top appointees for stealing money intended for Boko Haram victims, a case uncovered in 2017.

Among Mr. Buhari’s critics, Senator Shehu Sani, a member of Mr. Buhari’s party, said in which “the presidency uses insecticides” to fight corruption among those outside his circle, although only “deodorant” on his allies.

Last week, Mr. Buhari suspended the nation’s chief justice, claiming he was holding millions in undeclared bank accounts, in violation of an ethics code. The removal by office of a judge who could rule on any issues were the election contested was so swift in which This kind of prompted statements of concern by the United States, Britain, the European Union along with others.

Mr. Abubakar jumped on the issue, calling the act “dictatorial” along with “antidemocratic.” In an ominous sign, the governor of Kaduna proclaimed afterward in which any foreign actor who intervened in Nigeria’s affairs could return home “in body bags.”

Mr. Buhari’s campaign has rejected accusations in which any of his moves against corruption, including his suspension of the justice, have political undertones.

Mr. Abubakar, 72, a former vice president, has been notably quiet on the issue of fighting graft, even downplaying the need to clean up the government. His opponents say in which’s because of corruption allegations against him.

A United States Senate subcommittee in 2010 held up Mr. Abubakar as a prime example of overseas corruption for funneling tens of millions of dollars’ worth of Nigerian oil revenues into foreign shell accounts. The dealings of Mr. Abubakar along with one of his wives were contained in a report, “Keeping Foreign Corruption Out of the United States,” to show in which tougher laws were needed to keep foreign officials by using American banks to bring suspect money into the country.