Nigeria’s President-Elect Likely to “behave differently”: Catholic Archbishop

Nigeria's President-elect, Bola Tinubu. Credit: Courtesy Photo

Pending the court ruling on the Presidential election in Nigeria, the President-elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, could “behave differently”, succeeding in resolving some of the challenges President Muhammadu Buhari failed to address, a Catholic Archbishop in the West African nation has said.

On March 1, Nigeria’s electoral body, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), declared the ruling party candidate, winner of the presidential election, BBC News reported.

INEC leadership announced that Mr. Tinubu garnered 8.8 million votes against 6.9 million garnered by Mr. Abubakar and Mr. Obi’s 6.1 million votes. 

However, Nigeria’s main opposition parties, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and Labour Party (LP) disputed the results, accusing the INEC of not uploading the presidential results from the polling stations.

In a Wednesday, March 29 report, Archbishop Matthew Man-Oso Ndagoso of Kaduna Archdiocese says that unlike President Buhari, Mr. Tinubu's experiences can help him contain Islamic radicalism in Arica’s most populous nation.


“If at the end of the day, he (Tinubu) wins in the court and is sworn in, given the part of the country he comes from, and his background, I think he will behave differently [to Buhari],” Archbishop Ndagoso says in the report that the Catholic charity and Pontifical foundation, Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), published.  

The Nigerian Catholic Archbishop says that Nigeria’s President-elect “is from Yorubaland, which has a significant population of Muslims. But in Yorubaland, it is usual to find Catholics, Protestants, and Muslims in the same family, and they get on well.”

The Local Ordinary of Kaduna Archdiocese who started his Episcopal Ministry in May 2003 as Bishop of Nigeria’s Maiduguri Diocese adds, “Tinubu’s wife is a practicing Christian so we are hopeful.”

“We hope that he (Tinubu) will be able to bring that kind of attitude into our polity so that we can all enjoy that,” Archbishop Man-oso Ndagoso says referencing the harmonious way of living among the people of God in Yorubaland.

Nigeria has been experiencing insecurity since 2009 when the Boko Haram insurgency began with the aim of turning the country into an Islamic county. 

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The group affiliated with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has been carrying out attacks that seem to target Christians.

President Buhari has been faulted for not addressing the challenges the people of God in Nigeria face, including multiple cases of insecurity characterized by abductions and sometimes killings.

In the March 28 report, Archbishop Ndagoso says Nigerians are hoping that leaders elected in the recent polls will have the common good of all citizens at heart and treat everybody fairly. 

“We are hoping this election will produce leaders who have the common good of everybody at heart. That is the minimum we expect,” says the Archbishop of Kaduna since November 2007.

“We hope these new leaders will treat everybody fairly and justly so that it doesn’t matter who you are, you should be treated as any other citizen," the Nigerian Catholic Church leader says, adding, “We are not making any special demand, just to be treated justly, fairly and with equity. At the moment this is lacking."


Magdalene Kahiu is a Kenyan journalist with passion in Church communication. She holds a Degree in Social Communications from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). Currently, she works as a journalist for ACI Africa.