Nigerian piracy and Buhari

Will Niger Delta crime increase under new leader?

Buhari victory offers mixed messages for Gulf of Guinea shipping

Stephen Spark

The election of General Muhammadu Buhari as President has raised hopes of a crackdown on corruption and a more stable environment for shipping in Nigeria. Buhari, a former military dictator, beat incumbent Goodluck Jonathan in an election that has been praised as Nigeria’s fairest ever.

Buhari is expected to roll back the gains made by Islamic State-affiliated jihadi group Boko Haram in mainly Muslim northern Nigeria, but the opposite may be true in the oil-rich but lawless Niger Delta in the largely Christian south.

Speaking on Tuesday at a Security Association for the Maritime Industry (SAMI) seminar on the Gulf of Guinea, Alex Vines, of independent think-tank Chatham House, said that Buhari’s victory may prompt an increase in crime, and perhaps a return of militancy, in the Delta, where support for Jonathan remains strong.

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