New Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari vowed on Friday to eradicate the “mindless, godless” militant group Boko Haram and rescue hundreds of women and children held captive, including 200 girls taken from the town of Chibok a year ago.
In his inaugural address as elected leader of Africa’s most populous nation and biggest oil producer, Buhari also painted a picture of an economy in crisis after a collapse in the price of crude, which accounts for the bulk of state revenue.
“The armed forces will be fully charged with prosecuting the fight against Boko Haram,” the 72-year-old former military ruler announced. A Muslim, he said the group was “as far from Islam as one can think of”.
Buhari’s election victory in March was Nigeria’s first democratic transfer of power. He inherits a host of problems from his predecessor Goodluck Jonathan, whose five-year tenure was marked by aimless security and foreign policy-making, as well as corruption scandals.