Discourse Editorial

Beyond Buhari’s Indisputable Right To Seek Re-election

Written by Notable Outcome

(By Iheanyi Ezinwo)-President Muhammadu Buhari told the National Executive Committee of his party, the All Progressives Congress, APC, and by extension fellow Nigerians and the world on Monday that he is seeking a re-election for another term of four years in 2019.
While the declaration came to some citizens who never expected him to do so because of his recent history of health challenges as a surprise, others have seen it coming based on their interpretation of President Buhari’s body language and other re-enforcing political developments in the APC.
The president told the National Executive Committee of his party that his decision to seek a second term was in response to the call of Nigerians for him to do so. Well, whether the vast majority of Nigerians wanted him or not, the constitution provides a second term window for any Nigerian leader who wishes to still offer himself for the service of the country, and to that extent, Buhari’s ambition to continue beyond 2019 is legitimate.
However, now that the president has offered himself for consideration for another term of four years, it is up to Nigerians to either accept or reject him. The reason is because the constitution that allows President Buhari to seek a re-election also empowers the citizens to either accept and reject him.
We are aware that Nigeria’s former president, Dr. Olusegun Obasanjo; former military president, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida; former Chief of Army Staff and Minister of Defense, General T.Y.Danjuma and a host of others have all openly advised President Buhari to drop the idea of a second term and give room to the younger generations to take Nigeria to greater heights.
With his recent declaration to seek a re-election, Buhari has politically drawn the battle line against all those who are against his re-election, including Dr. Obasanjo who had dismissed Buhari’s government as a failure, and that re-electing Buhari would mean re-enforcing failure.
In view of the fact that Buhari served under Obasanjo as minister of petroleum resources in the seventies, Buhari’s insistence to run against Obasanjo’s well publicized counsel will see the former minister and his boss squaring it up in what many see as an emerging mother of political battles in Nigeria’s political history.
It must be stated, for the records that Buhari was not lying when he said that some Nigerians want him to run. Nigeria is a country of close to one hundred million people, and so everybody cannot see things from the same prism. However, the high level of nepotism in Buhari’s administration, widespread and unchecked killings in certain parts of the country without decisive actions from the Federal Government against the armed herdsmen have dangerously polarized Nigerians on tribal and religious lines.
The situation is worsened by what some have described as inability of the APC led Federal Government to fulfill its electoral promises, and what many consider as inappropriate response of government to Nigeria’s lingering economic challenges which has worsened the unemployment situation and degraded the general well being of the citizens. The vast majority are upset that Buhari’s return to power as a democratically elected president in 2015 has left Nigerians weaker, poorer and disillusioned.
With Buhari’s  declaration on Monday, the stage is set: Will Buhari be able to bulldoze his way and return as Nigeria’s president in 2019? Can Dr. Olusegun Obasanjo and his co-travelers; the Peoples Democratic Party and other anti-Buhari and All Progressives Congress forces be able to stop Buhari in 2019? Only time will tell.

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