In a few weeks, Nigeria will swear in Muhammadu Buhari as president. The defeat of Africa’s largest political party, the People’s Democratic Party, will bring the All Progressives Congress (APC) into power after barely two years of organizing, mobilizing and coalition building. Buhari will enter office with a strong mandate from the voters, having won four out of the country’s six geopolitical zones, and the APC will enjoy a comfortable majority in the Senate. Though a northern Muslim from Katsina, his support included the predominantly Yoruba southwest, where President Goodluck Jonathan recent delivered bags of cash to traditional rulers according to news reports and where the militant Odudwa Peoples’ Congress launched a wave of thuggery in recent weeks. Even before the results were announced, voters in the north reacted with jubilation, and militant groups including the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta began surreptitiously re-arming in the creeks of the south. Sources I met with over the weekend in Rivers State say they have seen caches of weapons in camps backed by militants such Ateke Tom and others.
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