Mahama has work to do to gain trust of Buhari – Security expert


President John Mahama’s close ties with defeated Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan may hurt his efforts to build an alliance with President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari.

Security analyst, Irbard Ibrahim, says the cozy relationship between the Ghanaian leader and his outgoing Nigerian counterpart will undoubtedly make it less easy for him to gain the trust of the ex-Nigerian military ruler who swept up the victory in a closely fought election in Africa’s most populous nation.

Alhaji Buhari beat Goodluck Jonathan who was seeking a second term in office.

“On a personal level,” Mr. Ibrahim said, the Ghanaian President “will feel a grave loss [with the defeat of Mr Jonathan who is a close friend].”

The security analyst, however, believes that relations between Ghana and Nigeria will not necessarily suffer because Mr. Mahama and Alhaji are not friends.

He said with time, Presidents Mahama and Buhari will find a way to work together because their two countries are powerhouses in many respects in West Africa.

Ghana and Nigeria, he said, are allies and regardless of the personal relationships of their leaders, cooperation between the two is something either leader would not want to risk.

A 72-year-old ex-military ruler, Alhaji Buhari and his All Progressives Congress (APC) at the weekend unseated incumbent President Jonathan and his PDP in a dramatic vote.

The results make Alhaji Buhari the first opposition leader to win a presidential vote in that country.

His opponent, Mr. Jonathan’s exit from the presidency is as dramatic as his ascent to the seat of Government of Africa’s largest economy.

True to his name, Goodluck came into the presidency after the death of Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, his boss, in 2007. Mr. Jonathan was Vice-President to Alhaji Yar’Adua.

He won the 2011 poll and was seeking a second term in office but the Nigerian people thought they needed change.

Irbard Ibrahim believes the fallout between Goodluck Jonathan and former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo is partly to blame for the former’s election defeat.

Goodluck Jonathan lost grounds in Yoruba communities across the country- areas which used to be strongholds of the PDP- largely because of the rift with Obasanjo, Ibrahim suggested.

He insisted the many defections by leading members of the PDP to the APC as well as the decision by Jonathan to globetrot when his country was saddled with so many problems, especially insecurity, may have also created some form of disaffection towards the PDP.

Irbard Ibrahim however applauded the strategists of the APC whom he said marketed Buhari as a military man who had the acumen and the ability to end the Boko Haram menace.


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