A bombing Tuesday killed dozens of people in the northeast Nigeria city of Maiduguri, the latest in the almost daily attacks there since the inauguration last week of the country’s new president.
The blast at a market was widely blamed on Boko Haram and was seen as an ominous response to President Muhammadu Buhari’s pledge to crush the militant Islamist group.
At his swearing-in Friday, Buhari called Boko Haram “godless” and “mindless” and said his top priority on taking office was to destroy it. He announced he was moving the command center of the military to Maiduguri, capital of Borno state, at the center of the battle.
Buhari’s inauguration represented a rare case of an opposition leader winning election and assuming office in a nation plagued by poor governance and corruption. He faces high expectations among Nigerians, but could see his luster fade if he doesn’t swiftly deal with Boko Haram and restore security in the northeast.
Buhari, a former army general and military dictator who ruled the country briefly in the mid-1980s, met with military commanders Tuesday to discuss progress in the war against Boko Haram amid speculation he might sack some military leaders.