Nigeria: Buhari’s candidacy for his estate is not unanimous

The announcement of the candidacy of Muhammadu Buhari for a second term at the head of the state arouses various reactions. The president officially announced on Monday his intention to obtain the nomination of his party, the All Progressive Congress (APC), for the presidential election scheduled for February 2019.

In the last three months, the candidacy of the former general of 75 years had become an open secret. Since Monday, supporters and critics are raging.

Shouting with joy, hundreds of young people swept through the city of Kano, the megalopolis of northern Nigeria, on the announcement of President Muhammadu Buhari’s bid on Monday.

In the wake of this Muslim bastion traditionally acquired by the head of state, his early political support has stormed social networks to extol the Buhari administration’s record, its anti-corruption policy and weakening from Boko Haram.

“A non-existent balance sheet”, on the contrary, consider his adversaries for whom the former general is no other than “a grandfather” who “clings to power”.

Indeed, Muhammadu Buhari’s recent displacements in several states have not made us forget the slow decision-making process of “Baba Go Slow”, as the Nigerians call him. The economic difficulties have increased as ethnic tensions punctuate the whole country. This presidency was especially tarnished from the beginning by health problems, which forced the head of state to long stays abroad.

But nothing is played yet. To be a candidate, Muhammadu Buhari must be invested in the primaries of the All Progressive Congress. “It’s been a while that [APC, note] began to organize to ensure that it is he who continues for an upcoming additional four-year term”, says Benjamin Augé, Institute French International Relations. But, continues the researcher, Buhari is only a default candidate of the APC, the party “cannot decide leadership with a generation of people who are in their fifties, and so he rejects the project of a political clarification that is a generational renewal to 2023. And no one is consensus anyway to make weight against Buhari.

“There are many individualities that are sometimes powerful in their regions or in their state, but which weigh quite little ultimately at the national level. So, we have a candidate who is known, so the record is rather very poor, but we have no alternative currently to the APC. That’s why they preferred to make this choice which will be confirmed in the coming months.”

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