• Tuesday, May 28, 2024
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Buhari declares presidential bid

Former Nigerian military ruler and the presidential candidate of opposition party CPC Muhammadu Buhari speaks during his campaign rally in LagosRetired General Muhammadu Buhari declared he would run for president on Wednesday, criticising President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration for corruption and failing to tackle the Boko Haram insurgency.

His bid for the opposition ticket, if accepted, would pit him against Jonathan for a second time.

Addressing thousands of cheering supporters in a white traditional robe, dark glasses and a green skullcap, Buhari berated the government for failing to stamp out insecurity.

“Nearly all are in fear of their lives … due to insurgency by the godless movement called Boko Haram, by armed robbers on the highways, by kidnappers who have put whole communities to flight,” he said in his bid in the capital Abuja for the All Progressives Congress (APC) ticket.

Thousands have died in Boko Haram’s increasingly bloody campaign to carve an Islamist state out of the religiously-mixed country.

Jonathan, a Christian southerner, has yet to officially declare his intention to run, but is widely assumed to be going for another term. Abuja is festooned in smiling campaign posters touting his achievements and calling for “continuity”.

“I … present myself before you … and before God seeking to be elected as APC’s Presidential candidate,” said Buhari, a Muslim northerner.

Buhari won a rare reputation as a fighter against corruption during his timing ruling Nigeria from 1983-85. Most Nigerians agree he did not use the presidency to enrich himself and his backers. His iron-fisted administration jailed several politicians on graft charges.

He had been expected to run and faces ex-vice president Atiku Abubakar in the primaries on December 2. Abubakar declared his intention to run late last month.