Nigeria: Mixed Reactions Trail Buhari's 2nd Term Declaration

President Muhammadu Buhari.
10 April 2018

News of President Buhari's decision to contest another term in office was received yesterday, with mixed feelings across the country.

While many people interviewed by Vanguard said it was the right of the president to contest, others said his frail health and alleged poor performance during his current tenure were enough to warrant his stepping down for another candidate in his party.

Governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Abia State in the 2015 general election, Dr. Nyerere Anyim, while reacting to Buhari's declaration said the president deserved a second term in office to correct what he described as "PDP's 16 year mistake in Nigeria."

Anyim said the president has done well if one takes into account the poor state of affairs when he came into power.

He said: "Anyone assessing Buhari's performance should take into account the state in which PDP landed Nigeria in the 16 years it held power. Corruption was at its height. But now, it is no longer business as usual. People are now afraid of dipping their hands into the public treasury. Security has improved.

The dilapidated federal roads under PDP are being addressed, the issue of power is getting attention. You now have steady power at Ariaria market; it's the achievement of the APC government. You also know that the PDP in the South East has been claiming Buhari and APC's projects as their own, but we are not worried."

He called on the South East to support Buahri's re election, describing it as the easiest way for a Nigerian President of Igbo extraction in 2023.

"Ndigbo should support Buhari to win in 2019 and hand over to an Igbo son in 2023," he added.

Buhari hasn't achieved anything--Uwazuruike

In his reaction, former President of Aka Ikenga, the punching arm of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Goddy Uwazuruike challenged President Buhari to tell Nigerians what he has achieved to merit re-election in 2019.

The former Ohanaeze scribe who is also a legal practitioner queried Buhari's delivery on his campaign promises in 2015 to seek the renewal of his mandate from Nigerians.

He however acknowledged that it was his right under the constitution to contest election, insisting that the president had some explanations to make.

He said: "The constitution guarantees the right to contest for elections. The contestant makes some basic promises. But the basis for recontesting is to continue the good work. In other words, President Muhammadu Buhari will tell us what he has achieved!

"He listed three major areas: corruption, security and the economy. He should tell us where his achievements lie in these three areas. He can say I have fought corruption without fear or favour.

"That the charges of nepotism and cover up of corruption against his men is not true. He should tell us that the insecurity we felt before has been eliminated.

"He must tell us how human rights are respected, how court orders are obeyed. The president has to tell us how investors are trooping in and where they are now."

It's the president's right to seek re-election--Obiogbolu

A chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and the party's governorship aspirant in last year's governorship election in Anambra State, Dr. Alex Obiogbolu said while it is the right of the president to seek re-election, it is left for the Nigerian electorate to decide who the country's next president would be.

He said: "The president has the right to contest and continue in office but I believe Nigerians will ultimately decide who will be the next president.

"Nigerians have seen his performance and are now in a better position to compare him with PDP. My concern is that my party, PDP, should get its acts together and present a good candidate that can defeat APC."

It's worst thing to happen to Nigerians--MASSOB

But the Movement for the Actualisation of Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB wondered how a leader it described as the "worst President the nation had ever had" deemed it necessary to declare to recontest when his present tenure has "choked Nigerians to death."

MASSOB however said that the declaration did not bother its members as Buhari's declaration was for "those who still believe in Nigeria.

"The announcement of his ambition may sound so much pleasant to APC but it is full of hopelessness and Fulani interest," MASSOB said in a statement signed by its leader, Comrade Uchenna Madu.

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