President Buhari's Re-election Bid: Matters Arising! -Ishola Adebayo

April 13, 2018

In the last few days, no issue has been more debated than the recent declaration by President Muhammadu Buhari that he would seek re-election in 2019 during the All Progressives Congress National Executive Council meeting in Abuja before departing the country for London.

President Buhari’s re-election bid is only normal and it is his legitimate right. Nothing stops the President from seeking a re-election within our Constitution. The only snag is that many politicians are going to gang up against him because they see him as an outsider in politics who has benefitted from their massive support but in return has been messing things up for them.

While several members of the APC and the President's close allies have welcomed the news, former President Obasanjo, Prof. Wole Soyinka, Chief Dele Momodu and a host of other notable Nigerians would not want him as President in 2019.

Obasanjo has warned President Muhammadu Buhari against taking part in the 2019 presidential election saying that ‘the situation that made Nigerians to vote massively to get his brother Jonathan off the horse is playing itself out again.’ And that at this point President Buhari should consider a deserved rest.

Reacting to the development, Chief Dele Momodu, publisher of Ovation for instance, recently wrote a public letter to Buhari urging him to take the ‘Mandela option’ so he can rest and look after his health. In a similar vein, Professor Wole Soyinka, who was courted aggressively and won over by the Buhari government, a few days ago took an unusual swipe at the President after his New Year’s message in which he sought to blame marketers and everyone else but his government for the re-appearance of queues in petrol stations during the Christmas period.

Just as there are forces that will work in Buhari’s favour, several will contend with him. These include the people who believed he performed below expectation and those who worked hard for him during the 2015 general election campaign but felt that Buhari dealt harshly with them after ‘using them’. There are also Many of such people may find his re-election bid an opportunity to even the score.

Will President Buhari win or lose if he contests in 2019? The answer is in the hands of the electorates.