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Vol 50 No 24

Published 4th December 2009


Nigeria

The opposition frontrunners

No politician in Nigeria evokes reactions as intense and sharply divided as General Muhammadu Buhari. Many people think him incorruptible and a disciplinarian and accuse him of religious or ethnic intolerance and inflexibility. This helped and hurt his standing when he ran for president in 1999, 2003 and 2007. His reputation for being stern and strict hardened when he was military head of state in the early 1980s. Civilian life has not softened his image; he is the only one of Nigeria's retired top military officers still habitually referred to by military rank. Central Bank Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi has long championed 'Buharism' - a fiercely nationalistic political and economic ideology.

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