Nigerian President-Elect Muhammadu Buhari vowed to smash Boko Haram, the Islamist militant group that’s killed thousands of people in six years of attacks in the West African nation.
“Boko Haram will soon know the strength of our collective will and commitment to rid this nation of terror, and bring back peace and normalcy to all the affected areas,” Buhari, a former military ruler, said in remarks delivered in Abuja, the capital. “We shall spare no effort until we defeat terrorism.”
Buhari beat President Goodluck Jonathan in March 28 elections, winning 52.4 percent of the vote to become the first Nigerian to unseat an incumbent president in an election. One of his party’s chief accusations against Jonathan was that the president had failed to deal with the insurgency, which has attacked villages and towns mainly in Nigeria’s northeast.
Aided by the armies from neighboring Chad, Niger and Cameroon, the security forces in recent weeks have driven the rebels out of territory they had held for months.
“We shall strongly battle another form of evil that is even worse than terrorism -- the evil of corruption,” said Buhari, 72.
South Africa, France, the U.S., and the U.K. have all congratulated Buhari on his victory.
“The U.K. remains a steadfast partner for Nigeria as it realises its potential as Africa’s economic powerhouse and works to tackle terrorism in the region,” British Prime Minister David Cameron said in a statement on Wednesday.
Jonathan, who was seeking a second full term as ruler of Africa’s most populous nation and its biggest oil producer, conceded defeat on Tuesday.
“I extend a hand of friendship and conciliation to President Jonathan and his team,” Buhari said.