Security challenges ahead of Tinubu’s presidency


BY MUHAMMAD M. ALI, MAY 22, 2023, 2:55 PM

Bola Ahmed Tinubu has been waiting, in a matter of weeks, to be sworn-in as the 9th democratically elected president of Africa’s most populous country, Nigeria.

Mr. Tinubu won the seat in a hot contest on the platform of the ruling All Progressive Congress, piping Atiku Abubakar of Peoples Democratic Party and Peter Obi of Labor Party to the finishing line.

This did not go with reactions, through the courts and elsewhere violently.

Over 39 people were reportedly killed in violence in the election pre, during and afterwards, with uncountable court filings.

The Centre of Democracy Development who also monitored this development similarly reported about 109 deaths in the build-up of the election.

One can also say that the post-election period has not also been good as voices of division and disunity continue to be re-echoed by some Nigerians who believed that the election was not free and fair; and on the note that the electoral process was not duly followed or adhered to.

In bringing some of the security challenges, this new government will be dealing with, it is only fair to start with the post-election violence as it is obvious that the positions taken by some candidates of the presidential election could bring reactions after the swearing-in come May 29.

However, that could not be all. The bulk of these security challenges that Mr. Tinubu's new government will be confronted with are as follows:

  1. Terrorism:

Nigeria has been grappling with the menace of terrorism, particularly from Boko Haram in the northeastern region of the country, even though the outgoing government has broken their backbone.

They no longer carry out the kind of large-scale attacks as they used to.

Nigeria's Chief of Defense Staff disclosed to African News in March that between July 2021 and May 2022, a total of 13, 360 Boko Haram fighters surrendered to the federal government. In total 51, 828 fighters and their family members gave themselves up to the authorities.

It would seem everything has come to an end; but no, the new government has an even greater task of keeping these resettled communities in peace.

That will depend on how the new government will manage the over 50, 000 surrendered terrorists and how it can deal with the remaining terrorists in the bushes who are still waging war against the government.

Similarly, it will do well to create policies that will empower victims of the crisis.

  1. Kidnapping and abduction:

There has been a significant decrease in incidents of kidnapping and abduction across Nigeria—thanks to many factors.

According to pundits, and President Muhammadu Buhari had equally given as a reason, the recent monetization policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria has unsettled circulation of illegal funds.

What the government will face head-on is a movement to free the remaining Nigerians in captivity, even though a lot have also been released.

If the credit was to be given to Naira redesign and ban of old notes, then that has been stopped by the Supreme Court.

It is left to be seen if the criminals will opportunity the opportunity to be back at their follies.

  1. Ethnic, religious and communal conflicts:

These security challenges have possibilities of increasing following the grievances arising from the just 2023 presidential election.

The new government has to prioritize peace and unity among the diverse groups.

The greatest threat to this effort is however the Muslim – Muslim presidency the country will witness from May 29.

If the incoming government fails to manage perception towards it properly, it may help to escalate ethnic and religious tensions.

Cyber security threats:

The rapid advancement of technology has exposed Nigeria to various cyber-security challenges. Cybercriminals engage in activities such as hacking, phishing, identity theft, and financial fraud, negatively impacting individuals, businesses, and government institutions.

These challenges have continued to be on the increase. The new government will have the task of containing these challenges.

Global audit and tax advisory firm, KPMG, has projected that Nigeria’s unemployment rate is expected to rise to 40.6% as compared to 2022’s 37.7%.

This, it said, was: 'due to the limited investment by the private sector, low industrialization, and slower than required economic growth and consequently the inability of the economy to absorb the 4-5 million new entrants into the Nigerian job market every year.'

  1. Resource-based conflicts

Nigeria is rich in natural resources. Apart from petroleum, Nigeria's other natural resources include natural gas, tin, iron ore, coal, limestone, niobium, lead, zinc and arable land.

However, these resources, particularly oil, have been a source of conflicts and insecurity.

There have been rivalry and competition over their control which even lead to oil theft and illegal refining.

These challenges are peculiar to certain regions of the country, especially in the Niger Delta, but if left to fester on, may invoke far greater than its manifestation in the region.

The current government has been waging war against the challenges.

The new government will have the task of bringing policies that can consolidate on the achievement so far.

Best of luck.

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