This week General Muhammadu Buhari will be inaugurated as Nigerian’s president, a position he won by campaigning on a platform of change. But will that change include the people on the fringe of society, like lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals? Will he eliminate the current repressive policies that his predecessor President Ebele Goodluck Jonathan approved? Can the U.S. and other governments pressure him to do so?
So far, Buhari has offered no public opinion on the matter. This includes when he was a military general and in 1983, toppled a democratically elected civilian government and ruled for 18 months until he himself was overthrown in another coup. At that time, LGBT issues were not part of the public discourse.