Back in Nigeria, Buhari Battles A Sagging Economy, Boko Haram—and Rats

Back in Nigeria, Buhari Battles A Sagging Economy, Boko Haram—and Rats
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari after his arrival at the airport in Abuja, Nigeria, Aug. 19, 2017 (Photo by Sunday Aghaeze for Nigeria State House via AP).

Editor’s Note: Every Friday, WPR Associate Editor Robbie Corey-Boulet curates the top news and analysis from and about the African continent.

More than 100 days after leaving Nigeria to treat an undisclosed medical condition in the U.K., Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari returned to Abuja over the weekend. Supporters hailed his arrival, and Buhari seemed eager to move past the uncertainty and tension provoked by his absence, criticizing “political mischief-makers” while appealing to a sense of national unity.

As Alex Thurston wrote for WPR toward the beginning of Buhari’s triphis second long-term stay in London this yearthe immediate complications for Nigeria have been minimized by the competent leadership of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo. But it’s difficult to deal with thornier problems when the head of state is away. Three months after Buhari was last in town, Nigeria is still in recession, and Boko Haram is still active in the northeastand may even be regaining strength while doubling down on its grisliest tactics. A report from UNICEF documented 83 cases of children being used as “human bombs” so far this year, four times more than in all of 2016.

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