President Muhammadu Buhari has disclosed that his decision to contest for a second term as the nation’s leader is an answer to the calls by Nigerians to remain in office.
The president ended months of speculation when he officially announced his intention to seek re-election in the 2019 presidential election during a meeting with the National Executive Committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC) on Monday, April 9, 2018.
According to a statement signed by the president’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, the president’s decision was based on demand from Nigerians.
He said, “President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday in Abuja declared his intention to seek re-election in 2019.
“President Buhari made the declaration at a closed-door meeting of the National Executive Council of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
“The President said he was responding to the clamour by Nigerians to re-contest in 2019, adding that he wanted to give NEC the honour of notifying them first.”
President Buhari made history when he defeated then-president, Goodluck Jonathan, in the 2015 presidential election by more than 2.5 million votes, the first time a sitting president lost an election in Nigeria.
He is expected to face a tougher test this time around as he has had to battle health complications that resulted in him seeking treatment for an undisclosed ailment in London for a combined 154 days in 2017.
The 75-year-old has also recently come under heavy criticism from past Nigerian leaders, most notably former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, and former Head of State, Ibrahim Babangida, who had both advised him to not seek reelection.
2019 presidential race
Motivational speaker and leadership coach, Fela Durotoye, became the second aspirant to officially declare his intention to contest for president after he joined the Alliance for a New Nigeria (ANN) on February 22, 2018. Omoyele Sowore, the publisher of online news platform, Sahara Reporters, declared his intention to run just days later on February 25.
Ekiti State governor, Ayodele Fayose, was the first aspirant to have officially declared his intention to contest after his announcement in September 2017.
Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, is expected to be President Buhari’s biggest challengerafter he left the APC and moved back to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).