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Nigeria is the play between the power and the money

“Buhari has the power, but Atiku has the money.” With this phrase summed up a few days ago a prominent member of the civil society in nigeria provides the envir

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Nigeria is the play between the power and the money

“Buhari has the power, but Atiku has the money.” With this phrase summed up a few days ago a prominent member of the civil society in nigeria provides the environment pre-election in their country, that the giant african of almost 200 million inhabitants and great economic power in continental faces in less than 90 days to its elections more uncertain. Just a few months, the current president, Muhamadu Buhari, seemed to have all the ballots for a repeat in the office for another four years. However, the wind has changed direction and is now his rival, the businessman Atiku Abubakar, until recently in the shadow of politics, who has taken the lead. The whole of Africa crosses fingers so that the blood does not reach the river.

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What has happened to Buhari, 75 years old, and his Congress of All Progressives (APC) are now against the ropes, cornered by the emerging figure of Atiku, candidate of the Popular Democratic Party (PDP)? Many things, but mainly one: the general and former dictator recycled to the democracy that by 2015, achieved what seemed impossible, to dislodge the power of the ubiquitous PDP, has failed with a crash to the time of fulfilling the three great promises that we boosted to the Presidency: revitalize the economy and reduce unemployment, to crush the terrorist group Boko Haram, which has stepped up its insurgency in the northeast of the country, and end the corruption that gangrenes of Nigeria.

The campaign of three months, was excessive as a whole in this country, started the last 16 with 78 candidates in the fray and you sense dirty. Two weeks earlier, several police officers penetrated into the private plane of the opposition leader, who had just landed in Abuja from Dubai, in search of not know very well what. The suspicion that Buhari does not resist the temptation to use the State apparatus to their benefit at the time of the count in the case that the results are adjusted it is feared to occur violence. “The followers of Buhari are fanatizados, but Atiku is not willing to let themselves be intimidated,” says a diplomatic source.

nigerian president, Muhammadu Buhari, during a visit to Paris, on the 10th of November. Benoit Tessier REUTERS

The fight against corruption has been the great workhorse of the current president and there is no doubt that it has gotten to the elbows in the mud. According to the Government, in the past two years has managed to recover some 700 million dollars and a thirty policy-makers have had to respond to the Justice. However, no one has clarified neither the origin nor the destination of that money, which was recovered out of court. Also, the political processed are charges opposition media. “The feeling that citizens have is that it is only revenge and that things have not changed too much”, say from the association's Integrity, to fight corruption.

at The end of last week, the terrorist group Boko Haram irrumpía at the start of the election campaign with the murder of 44 soldiers Betsmove and nine civilians in the northeast. The rest of the country, these news come with a damper, and even a certain sense of apathetic resignation seems to be spreading by Abuja, Lagos or Port Harcourt. What is certain is that, far from having been crushed by the iron fist of Buhari, the radical of Abubaker Shekau and Abu Musab al Barnawi, after a decline between 2015 and 2017, have multiplied their attacks, the number of displaced people has begun to increase and Boko Haram, that kind of group lumpenyihadista that thrives on the poverty and the illiteracy, seems to resist with solvency.

The nigerian economy cools -the latest projection by the World Bank downgrading the growth forecast for 2018 2.1% to 1.9%- dragged down by the fall in oil prices, the main source of income of the country, and inflation and unemployment, which has soared by 10 points after the arrival of Buhari to power, are out of control. Two of every three unemployed persons have less than 34 years. I Odulana, a young doctor in nigeria, ensures that each year a few thousand new doctors they go directly to unemployment. In that fishery will fish for votes Atiku Abubakar, a figure known for having been vice-president of the Government in the time of Obasanjo and, above all, a businessman of enormous success that breaks with neo-liberal recipes and diversification for the esclerotizada nigerian economy is so dependent on crude oil.

The history of the applicant is curious. Atiku, 72 years, comes from Adamawa, one of the States most affected by the violence of Boko Haram. His father went to jail for refusing to enroll him in school and the little one responded by obtaining a bachelor's degree in Laws that allowed him to enter in the Administration. However, his vocation was business and began amassing his fortune in the real estate sector, agriculture, and port logistics. The child that his father wanted to deny the right to western education became, over the years, the founder of the American University of Nigeria, based in Yola.

In his career he has been linked on several occasions with corruption scandals, but has never been tested. Your profile is bussinesman and maker of money that is known to move between the public and private sector with huge ease is an endorsement for the business elite nigerian convinced, actually, that so much research on corruption is bad for business. Atiku is “one of ours”, they think. In front is Mahamadou Buhari, who has not been able to curb the bleeding of high-ranking officials of his party in the direction of the rows of the PDP, in reality to take refuge under the skirts of Atiku. The repeated absences of the country's president to receive medical care have resulted in the transfer of a part of the public opinion the feeling that her time is running out.

Despite everything, the battle will be intense and is dotted with mines, proof of this is that foreign capital has begun to retreat in recent weeks in the country, according to financial sources. Buhari has lost the favor of the general, as is known to the lobbying of former military high-ranking that remains in control of the threads of the Army and of many businesses in Nigeria, but has the control of the Administration and of a party solid. Both opponents are from the ethnic peul and in the north, where the president continues to maintain loyalties to the test pump. But Atiku knows that the bet final will be played in the south, where flows the oil that gives oxygen to the country and where the great entrepreneurs of Lagos and the Niger Delta take months asking for a lifeguard. Will be an election to dog face.

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