As Nigeria's newly elected leader, Obasanjo enjoyed strong domestic and international support. Yet, his domestic critics were highly vocal and criticized him for his past ties to the military. Obasanjo's ethnic group, the Yoruba, continue to distrust him and a turnaround in relations are vital for healing ethnic relations. Human rights groups want him to establish a committee to investigate and punish former military leaders for corruption and human rights abuses. Obasanjo, however, while promising a truth commission, remains disinclined to punish the military. Furthermore, his own people, the Yoruba, continue to distrust and despise him because of his role in Shagari's presidential election in 1979.
Obasanjo is considered to be a wily politician with good oratory skills. Given the years of military rule, the neglect of the nation's infrastructure, and increased ethnic tensions, Obasanjo must be able to convince his opponents that he will govern in the nation's best interests. His experience as a military engineer is invaluable for restoring the nation's transportation network, and his close relations to the military could assist in keeping the soldiers in their barracks. Some believe, however, that he is merely a military front man who might be tempted to act undemocratically whenever he experiences criticism. In fact, General Babangida, a former president and a major power broker, strongly supports Obasanjo. Obasanjo, however, has more support in the international community than his predecessors; this may make it possible for him to move the country forward. Despite calls for the annulment of the results of the April-May elections, and for his removal, Obasanjo has shed public criticism and vowed to provide strong leadership for the country throughout his next term of office.