Nigeria: Goodluck Johnathon, facing a poor track record and deadly attacks

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    Translatd from French by Liana Cramer On Monday January 2nd, Nigerian President Goodluck Johnathon narrowly escaped an attack that occurred in a stadium just outside his meeting. A bomb exploded as President Goodluck Johnathon’s convoi proceeded from the stadium. This explosion, in the city of Gombe, killed two people.   This meeting was a part of the Nigerian President’s campaign for the upcoming February 14th election. Indeed, the President of Nigeria officially announced his bid to run for a second presidential mandate on November 11th of last year.   However, his track record may be a handicap for him.Economic performance during his presidency has been mixed, according to the International Monetary Fund. Thisfinancial institution indicates that economic growth in the country as Goodluck Johnthan came to power in 2010 was 10.6%, despite the financial crisis of 2007 – 2008. Nigeria’seconomic growth in the subsequent years fell by half, to 5% between 2011 and 2013, for which there is no clear explanation (some attribute it to corruption). Economic growth is expected to experience a slight increase for 2014 and 2015, rising to approximately 7%.   From the evidence of the IMF, the real problem is that Nigeria had an average of 9.6% economic growth between 2004 and 2010, with a record high of 13.3% in 2004. Goodluck Johnthan thus failed to ensure the sustainability of the country’s economic performance, further delaying the country’s emergence.   “Inflation also shrunk from 13.7% in 2010 to 8.5% in 2013, and it is estimated at 8.3% for 2014 and 8.7% for 2015.Furthermore, investments, which comprised 21.7% of GDP in 2009, have fallen. Since Goodluck Jonathan rose to power investments in the country have faced downward trend, from 17.3% of GDP to 15.2% of GDP, reported the IMF.   The President’s campaign is also occuring during a severesecurity crisis in Nigeria, particularly in the northeast of the country, where Boko Haram controls more than 20 localities and has killed thousands.   During his term, Goodluck Johnathon, who promised to make security issues a priority, has failed to stem the Islamist insurgency and to fight corruption, which is an endemic problem for the continent’s greatest economic power and largest oil producer.   It will be a challenge for Goodluck Johnathon to defend his poor track record, especially as Boko Haram recently carried out another massacre, during which in less than two weeks 2000 people were left dead and 16 villages burned.   Despite all this, experts believe that the current president is likely to win reelection on February 14th 2015, as the ruling party mobilizes significant funds for the re-election of its representatives. Goodluck Johnathon, 57 years old, has lead Nigeria since the death of his predecessor Umaru Yar’Adua in 2010.   His primary opponent, former military leader Muhammadu Buhari, has highlighted Goodluck Johnathon’s inability to neutralize Boko Haram.

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