The President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari has declared his intention to run for a second term in the upcoming 2019 General Elections. This comes after months of speculations about the president's decision.
He made his intentions known in a meeting of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) leadership yesterday. The meeting was attended by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Senate President Bukola Saraki, Speaker of the House of Representatives Yakubu Dogara and other APC governors.
The national publicity secretary of the APC, Bolaji Abdullahi and the Chief Whip, House of Representatives, Alhassan Ado Doguwa confirmed the president's decision while addressing journalists in Abuja after the NEC meeting.
A few hours after close of the meeting, Special adviser to the President on New media and engagement, Bashir Ahmad in a tweet on his official handle @BashirAhmaad also confirmed the President’s declaration.
His tweet read:
“President Muhammadu Buhari has just officially announced his intention to seek re-election in 2019. Details soon…”
Also, the Kaduna State governor, Nasir El-Rufai could not hide his joy as he took to twitter to share the news on his verified handle @elrufai.
This means that the President could be staying in office till he clocks 79 and this has attracted criticism from many quarters considering the president's declarations during his campaign claiming he was going to rule for one tenure only.
Another issue which the aggrieved parties are pointing out is the president's dwindling health conditions which has characterized his present regime amounting to frequent medical trips abroad, staying as much as 104 days on a single trip.
Former President of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo
You will recall that former President Olusegun Obasanjo in a 13-page statement which was released in January this year had blasted President Buhari and advised him not to seek re-election in 2019, saying Buhari should not toy with the patience of Nigerians but should in a dignified way dismount from the horse (seat of power).
“President Buhari needs a dignified and honourable dismount from the horse. He needs to have time to reflect, refurbish physically and recoup and after appropriate rest, once again, join the stock of Nigerian leaders whose experience, influence, wisdom and outreach can be deployed on the sideline for the good of the country. His place in history is already assured,” Obasanjo said in the public statement.
If Buhari wins the election in 2019, he will be sworn in at the age of 75 and is expected to serve till he is 79.
During his campaigns, Buhari had promised Nigerians that he would be running for one term only, sighting his age as reason. The president also made the one-term promise in an interview conducted by Theophilus Abbah of Sunday Trust newspaper and published on published on February 6, 2011 where stated he won’t seek re-election.
He was quoted as saying "I’m not getting younger. If I succeed I'll do one term.
“I wish I became Head of State when I was a governor, just a few years as a young man. Now at 72, there is a limit to what I can do.”
If the president felt there was a limit to what he could do at 72, why does he want to re-contest at 75?
I believe Nigeria and Africa in general must begin to introduce inter-generational democracy and give youths the chance to be elected into public office.
What are your thoughts on this?