A presidential aide during the Goodluck Jonathan administration, Doyin Okupe, on Friday shared excerpts that show the condemnation that followed President Muhammadu Buhari’s declaration of interest for a second term in foreign media outlets.
Taking to his Facebook page, Okupe said, “outright condemnation is how the world media reacted to Buhari’s second term announcement”.
The announcement of the decision by Buhari, 75, on Monday came at a time of growing criticism of his performance and uncertainty in his ruling All Progressives Congress about his plans. He was in the U.K. for a total of five months last year to treat an undisclosed ailment.
After becoming the first opposition candidate to win power in Nigeria at the ballot box, Buhari oversaw the most severe economic slump in 25 years, failed to end security threats such as the Boko Haram Islamist insurgency and has been unable to stop daily power cuts in Africa’s biggest oil producer. Yet so far there’s little sign of a unified opposition to defeat him.
New York Times
Nigeria’s 75-year-old president, who spent almost four months out of the country last year while getting medical treatment, says he will run for a second term.
Despite calls to step aside and concerns about mysterious health problems, President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria on Monday declared his intention to seek re-election next year, ending months of speculation.
Mr Buhari has faced widespread criticism over his government’s inability to defeat the renewed Boko Haram insurgency in the northeast, or to end violence between herders and farming communities. Last year, he spent nearly four months in Britain receiving treatment for an illness that the government has not disclosed, leading to fears that he would never return.
The announcement by Buhari, a northern Muslim who became the first opposition candidate to defeat an incumbent at the ballot box, was widely expected although stocks on the Nigerian market fell 1.01 percent on Monday to a three-month low.
The bond market shrugged off the announcement with the 10-year benchmark debt unchanged at 13.64 percent from its previous session after one trade on Wednesday, traders said.
Some Nigerians have in the past called on the president to step down from office because of health issues, which had kept him away from office for several months while he sought medical treatment in Britain.
This would be the second four-year term for the 75-year-old president if he is re-elected.
His first term has been beset by poor health, which saw him spend months in the UK last year receiving treatment.
Mr Buhari was on “medical leave” in the UK for three months early last year.
He revealed after his return to Nigeria that “I have never been so sick”, but did not disclose what he was suffering from.
He has been under fire from former President Olusegun Obasanjo, who in an open letter called on him not to seek re-election because of his age and alleged poor health.
Buhari has faced intense speculation about his health and whether he is fit to contest for elections next year.
The 75-year-old was away from the country for more than three months on a ‘medical vacation’ in London last year after battling an unspecified illness.
Buhari has faced increasing criticism over security concerns in the country in recent months; Boko Haram continues to wreak havoc in the northeast of the country, there are growing calls for a separatist Biafra movement in the east of the country.
Frequent attacks from Fulani herdsmen in the central region of the country threaten to destabilize the area.
Buhari took office in May 2015 after vowing to improve security and crackdown on endemic corruption, but Africa’s top oil producer fell into its first recession in 25 years in 2016, largely caused by low crude prices and militant attacks in the Niger Delta, and its recovery remains fragile.
After spending five months in Britain last year being treated for an undisclosed ailment, opposition groups in Africa’s most populous nation and other critics said he was unfit for office and his administration was beset by inertia.