President Muhammadu Buhari has officially declared his intention to seek re-election in the 2019 presidential election.
The president announced his decision to the National Executive Committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC) on Monday, April 9, 2018.
Present during the declaration was vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, Senate President, Bukola Saraki, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara and 24 state governors of the APC.
While there had been indications that the president would seek a second term in office, it has never been officially acknowledged until now. On January 3, media reports indicated that the president had reappointed Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, as his national campaign coordinator after he ran his successful 2015 campaign.
President Buhari made history when he defeated the sitting president, Goodluck Jonathan, in the 2015 presidential election by more than 2.5 million votes. That made it the first time a sitting president lost an election in Nigeria.
He is expected to face a tougher battle this time around as he has had to battle health complications that resulted in him seeking treatment for an undisclosed ailment for a combined 154 days in London 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.
To become the party’s flagbearer for next year’s election, the president will have to defeat lesser-known aspirant Adamu Garba, and other prospective aspirants at the APC’s primary election expected to take place in the coming months.
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 his biggest challenger after he left the APC and moved back to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).