Aspirants react to President's 2nd term announcement
Reactions to the president's decision to seek re-election have been mixed.
The president ended months of speculation when he officially announced his intention to seek re-election in the 2019 presidential election during a meeting with the National Executive Committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC) on Monday, April 9, 2018.
A lot of public reactions has trailed the president's announcement, with former Minister of Education, Oby Ezekwesili, comparing him to a trespassing masquerade who doesn't know when to stop.
In the official reaction of the opposition People's Democratic Party (PDP), they said the president's announcement is nothing to talk about until he wins the APC's nomination.
Aspirants who'll be battling against the president next year have also reacted to the announcement, ranging from acceptance of the challenge to stand opposite the incumbent to disappointment at his decision.
Governor Ayodele Fayose
Ekiti State governor, Ayodele Fayose, has told President Buhari that his second term ambition will fail because Nigerians are tired of his string of failures.
Governor Fayose, who is also contesting in the presidential election, said the president is old and tired and Nigerians will be glad to vote him out.
He said, "Buhari has done more harm to this country. His ambition is a means by which Nigerians will tell him good riddance to bad rubbish when they boot him out of office. He is an easy candidate to defeat in the poll because he has failed woefully.
"That second term ambition of President Buhari is dead on arrival. We don't want Grandpa as president anymore. Nigeria does not deserve a Buhari as president in 2019. He is old and tired. When people don't know when to take their leave and say bye, Nigerians will show them the exit door.
"Buhari has failed in all fronts. He has failed in his so-called fight against corruption, he has failed in the economic front. He has not done well in term of security. Gruesome killing of Nigerians is now a daily occurrence in Nigeria."
The publisher of online news platform, Sahara Reporters, Omoyele Sowore, who'll also contest in 2019, said Buhari is setting himself up for an embarrassing defeat with his decision.
He said, "I don't feel threatened by his declaration. His declaration is not a certification of re-election. No reason to worry about. We knew all along that he would be defeated by the 'inconsequential' people ranging from the old, young, the weak and strong to the youth.'
"It is ironical that the President left the country after his declaration to re-contest on a medical vacation which they didn’t disclose and without a fixed date for his return."
Motivational speaker and leadership coach, Fela Durotoye, said the president's decision to contest for four more years is disappointing as Nigerians deserve more than he has offered.
The aspirant, who'll contest on the platform of the Alliance for a New Nigeria (ANN), said the country cannot bear more years of Buhari at the helm of affairs.
He said, "We saw it coming, but we're disappointed. For Buhari to ask for four more years, I believe Nigerians deserve better.
"We can't afford four more years of disappointment. It's an indictment on the youths that a 75-year-old man, who should be in retirement, will be the one leading them for four more years."
Another aspirant that'll be contesting against the president next year is former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Prof. Kingsley Moghalu, and he believes the president has the right to contest.
He said, "President Muhammadu Buhari has every right to seek a second term in office if his political party nominates him. It will be up to Nigerians to judge his performance track record so far.
"In contrast with that record of increasing poverty and insecurity in our country I offer my vision of something new, bold and different. I offer a new kind of competent, inclusive and effective leadership that will truly usher Nigeria into the 21st century and build a better future for our children and youth."
Buhari's re-election chances
President Buhari made history when he defeated then-president, Goodluck Jonathan, in the 2015 presidential election by more than 2.5 million votes, 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.
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