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Buhari campaigning in Lagos last week

UK Guardian correspondent Ruth Maclean blames Buhari for disillusioned Nigerian voters

14 February 2019

As Nigeria goes to the polls on Saturday to elect a new president, Ruth Maclean, the Guardian’s correspondent in Nigeria gave her opinion on the situation in the country in a podcast yesterday.

Listen to it below:

Ruth Maclean, the Guardian’s Nigeria correspondent

She said that she arrived in Lagos a few days ago and the atmosphere was “disillusioned”, with people concerned about the rigging being planned for the elections. She reported that the feeling among those she spoke to was that there wasn’t much to choose between the two main candidates for president – incumbent Muhammadu Buhari and his challenger Atiku Abubakar.

Maclean went further to say that a lot of the disillusionment was because there were genuine high hopes when Buhari won in 2015 and Nigerians felt that he will stop Boko Haram and defeat corruption. But rather than solving Nigeria’s security problems, Buhari has presided over a multiplication of the problems. Many now see the president as having failed. He has made no headway in fighting corruption and supported corrupt governors like Umar Ganduje of Kano State, who was videoed stuffing bribes in dollars into his pockets.

Maclean also spoke about Buhari’s ally, Nasir El-Rufai’s controversial comments about foreigners intervening in Nigeria being taken home in “body bags”.

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