Nigeria’s President Buhari Announces Re-Election Campaign
Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari announced on April 9 his candidacy for re-election in the country’s 2019 elections. He is seeking election within the All Progressives Congress party (APC).
Mr. Buhari has faced widespread speculation regarding his desire to run for another term given his deteriorating health. The 75-year-old president spent three months in London last year taking care of an unidentified illness.
He first took office in May 2015 with the promise of improving security and reducing corruption. However, he has faced difficulty during his term, with the country falling into a recession in 2016, and the government failing to quell the rampant Boko Haram attacks across the country. This is not to mention further issues including militant attacks in the Niger Delta oil production heartland and communal violence between nomadic herdsmen and settled farmers.
During the election campaign, it is likely that Mr. Buhari will scale up his anti-corruption platform, which seemed to help secure his election in 2015. Nevertheless, given that many of his high-ranking officials have become associated with major corruption scandals, his credibility on this issue has weakened significantly. Moreover, those opposed to Buhari’s administration claim that his anti-corruption plan is one-sided and lacks accountability in regards to convicting government officials accused of corrupt practices.
Should Buhari be selected as the candidate of the APC, it remains unclear whom he would face, since the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has yet to select a candidate. However, former vice president and ally of Buhari, Atiku Abubakar, is the strongest figure of the PDP to announce his consideration of running. All political parties must announce their candidates by October 7 of this year.