President Muhammadu Buhari says he has too many unfinished business to complete and that majority of Nigerians like him. That is why he is coming out again in 2019. But this decision has angered many people.
Buhari made his declaration for a second tenure during a meeting with the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the All Progressive Congress (APC) , Monday, and reiterated it two days later, in London, when the Archbishop of Canterbury His Grace Justin Wellby, paid him a courtesy call.
“I declared before leaving home because Nigerians were talking too much about whether I would run or not. So, I felt I should break the ice. We have many things to focus on, like security, agriculture, economy, anti-corruption and many others. We needed to concentrate on them and politics should not be a distraction. The majority of Nigerians appreciate what we are doing, and that is why I am re-contesting,” he told the Archbishop.
His reply: “You have my best wishes on your recent decision. I read your declaration speech. We are neutral as a church but we will pray for you. Great statesmen are those who run for the good of their country. We will be praying for you,” the cleric added before presenting him a copy of his recent book – Reimaging Britian: Foundations of Hope.
President Buhari, 75, used the opportunity to shed light on the killer Fulani herdsmen tearing parts of the country particularly middle belt.
“The problem is even older than us. It has always been there, but now made worse by the influx of armed gunmen from the Sahel region into different parts of the West African sub-region. These gunmen were trained and armed by Muammar Gadaffi of Libya,” President Buhari said.
“When he was killed, the gunmen escaped with their arms. We encountered some of them fighting with Boko Haram. Herdsmen that we used to know carried sticks and maybe a cutlass to clear the way but these ones now carry sophisticated weapons. The problem is not religious but sociological and economic. But we are working on solutions.”
President Buhari’s second term bid has undoubtedly taken many Nigerians by surprise, although some people said the handwriting was on the wall ever since, despite advice from some Nigerian elite like former President Obasanjo that Buhari should not seek re-election. Again, lately some northern elders have advised Buhari to kill off the ambition of a second coming.
Many Nigerians are of the view that Buhari’s second coming should be completely out of the question because his government that promised so much change and hope for the country has become a nightmare and has not delivered even one of their campaign promises.
Mass jubilation has been reported in parts of the North, particularly Kano, following the president’s declaration. But while members of the ruling APC across the country are rejoicing, some of the party’s stalwarts in the north nursing presidential ambition are reportedly unhappy with the new development and could jump out of the APC.
The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) on the other hand is convinced that President Buhari’s second term bid will be a dead-end for the APC.