Lagos State governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, believes President Muhammadu Buhari's first term achievements make him the most qualified candidate to continue to lead the country after the 2019 presidential election.

While speaking during an interview with some journalists during the reconciliation meeting with aggrieved All Progressives Party (APC) aspirants in Lagos, Ambode said it's important for Nigerians to back Buhari he has more integrity and passion than all the other candidates.

Singling out the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, the governor said Buhari has proven that he has more integrity than the former vice president.

He said he's supporting the president's re-election bid because he is the right person that can take Nigeria to the next level of prosperity and progress. 

He said, "If you crosscheck all other candidates, especially the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the incumbent (Buhari) has a higher integrity quotient.

"Buhari is more passionate about Nigeria and Nigerians, especially the poor, than the PDP candidate. So, it is on the basis of integrity, on the basis of somebody who is passionate - two values are what I cherish and practice, as the governor of Lagos State-I will go for Buhari.

"It is clear that President Buhari and I are like-minds and I will obviously engage Nigerians that those two values are what can bring prosperity to the country. Nigeria needs somebody that has character to create an enabling environment for progress and development."

He praised the president for reconstructing the nation's infrastructure after years of what he described as PDP's mismanagement in government. He also praised the president's feats in combating insecurity in the nation.

"In terms of security, within the context of what we met and what we have now, Nigeria has been peaceful under him and in order to sustain that we need to retain the incumbent in power," he said.

The governor further noted that Atiku is not 'in a good and moral position' to fight against corruption as faithfully as Buhari has done in the past three and a half years.

2019 presidential election

While next year's election, scheduled for February 16, 2019, is expected to be keenly-contested between Buhari and Atiku, they both face competition from other candidates including Donald Duke of the Social Democratic Party (SDP)Kingsley Moghalu of the Young Progressive Party (YPP)Obiageli Ezekwesili of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN)Fela Durotoye of the Alliance for New Nigeria (ANN), and Omoyele Sowore of the African Action Congress (AAC).

Others are Tope Fasua of the Abundance Nigeria Renewal Party (ANRP), Eunice Atuejide of the National Interest Party (NIP), Adesina Fagbenro-Byron of the Kowa Party (KP), Chike Ukaegbu of the Advanced Allied Party (AAP), Hamza Al-Mustapha of the People's Party of Nigeria (PPN), Obadiah Mailafia of the African Democratic Congress (ADC), and many more.

79 candidates will contest in the election, the highest number ever in Nigeria's electoral history.