Nigeria’s former vice-president Atiku Abubakar repeated bids for the presidency have excluded a renewal of political landscape in upcoming presidential elections in 2019.
Having failed four times for the top job claims, the 71-year-old political veteran again has been given chance by the main opposition PDP party to challenge President Muhammadu Buhari in February’s election.PDP
Abubakar is credited with having a solid network of support which is considered to be matching the level of the challenge, as well some progressive trends due to his backing of education initiatives, including the creation of the high profile American University of Nigeria in Adamawa State.
However Abubakar reputation has been plagued by chronic allegations of corruption, and arguments around conflict of interests between his business and political activities, repelling young electorate from his candidacy as a meaningful alternative to incumbent president.
Abubakar defected and switched back to the PDP in December 2017, alleging the 75-year-old president Buhari of “letting the Nigerian people, and especially our young people, down”.
In September Abubakar called Buhari “uncompromising” and “power drunk” attempting to establish himself as a right man to lead Africa’s biggest economy.
This weekend Nigeria’s main opposition party selects its candidate to challenge President Muhammadu Buhari in the elections in February 2019.
Recent defection of 13 candidates from Buhari’s ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) added tension to upcoming contest.
Seven have ties with states in the northwest, mostly as current or past governors, bolstering the party in a traditional Buhari stronghold.
In February 2019 Nigerians will vote for their next president and the governors of 29 of Nigeria’s 36 states, as well all federal and state legislators. The elections will culminate contest between the governing All Progressives Congress (APC) against the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP). There are no expectations of a substantial growth of the smaller political parties, allowing them to contest the ruling APC.
The opposition PDP currently controls 12 state governorships from total 36 and the office of deputy president of the Senate, and, as a result of large-scale defections from the APC in July 2018 – an apparent majority in both the Senate and the House of Representatives. The experts say the PDP’s possible victory will depend on two main factors: the political background and personal popularity of the party’s presidential nominee, and his ability to unify against a generously financed incumbent who enjoys a strong support across a substantial part of the north.
However the supporters of the President Buhari have already manifested their firm believe in his victory for the next mandate.
Nigeria is the largest African economy and the most populous country of the continent with 200 million inhabitants. The 86.9 million Nigerians live in extreme poverty representing nearly 50% of its estimated 180 million population. As Nigeria faces a population boom—it will become the world’s third largest country by the mid of the century.