In his inaugural address, Nigeria's new President Muhammadu Buhari said that Boko Haram is the most immediate threat faced by the country, and that the military will intensify its offensive against the militant Islamist group. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) New Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari vowed on Friday (May 29) to eradicate the "mindless, godless" militant group Boko Haram and rescue hundreds of women and children held captive, including 200 girls taken from the town of Chibok a year ago. "Boko Haram is a mindless, worthless group who are as far away from Islam as what they think of. At the end of the hostilities, when the group is subdued, the government intends to commit a significant study to determine its origin, their mode and immediate causes of the movement, its sponsors and international financiers to ensure that measures are taken to mitigate a reoccurrence of this evil," Buhari said. In his inaugural address as elected leader of Africa's most populous nation and biggest crude producer, Buhari also painted a picture of an economy in crisis after this year's collapse in the price of oil, which accounts for the bulk of state revenue. "The armed forces will be fully charged with prosecuting the fight against Boko Haram," the 72-year-old former military ruler announced in the heart of the capital. A Muslim, he said the group was "as far from Islam as one can think of". "We cannot claim to have defeated Boko Haram without rescuing the Chibok girls and all other innocent persons held hostage," he said. "This government will do all it can to rescue them alive." Hundreds of other Boko Haram captives have been freed by the military in recent weeks, but the Chibok girls, whose capture caused a global outcry, have still not been found. Buhari's March election win was Nigeria's first democratic transfer of power. He inherits a host of problems from his predecessor Goodluck Jonathan, whose five-year tenure was marked by aimless security and foreign policy-making, as well as corruption scandals. Depleted foreign reserves, vastly reduced oil revenues, corruption and the escalating cost of servicing debt had left the economy in "deep trouble", he said. He made no mention of the naira, the currency, which economists say may be headed for another devaluation. Importantly, he held out an olive branch to his political opponents in the oil-rich Niger Delta, saying his administration would continue to invest heavily in projects in the region that have underpinned an amnesty by militant groups there.