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Nigeria Wages War on “Indiscipline”

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Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari relaunched a controversial “war against indiscipline” program on Aug. 15, a move seen as an attempt to reset his flagging presidency. Here’s why:


Buhari first tackled public conduct in 1984, when he ruled the country as a military dictator. The brutal campaign saw soldiers armed with whips beat offenders for minor infractions such as being late for work or failing to wait in line properly.


Officials say this version will not be so punitive. The new scheme aims to reduce social ills like corruption and violence with 170,000 enforcers, mainly volunteers. But experts say the government-backed brigade could exacerbate discontent.


The attempt comes as Buhari’s Cabinet is accused of failing to tackle corruption or reform an ailing economy and as Islamist group Boko Haram continues to run rampant. On Aug. 23 the military reported for at least the third time the killing of leader Abubakar Shekau, a claim widely seen as propaganda. Few in Nigeria are happy that Buhari would rather wage war on indiscipline.


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