Nigeria’s Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka says President Muhammadu Buhari should take a rest and not put up himself for election in 2019.
According to him, “my view right now is that Buhari needs to take a rest. I hope he doesn’t put himself up for Presidency in 2019.”
Soyinka said it was up to the people of Nigeria to ensure that the president’s anti-corruption campaign does not take a rest.
The views of the globally acclaimed writer are contained in a video which has gone viral on the internet.
Last week one of Buhari’s ministers inadvertently triggered a new season of intense politicking after claiming that the president had indicated that he will not run for a second term.
Women Affairs Minister Aisha Alhassan appeared in an online video declaring support for former Vice President Atiku Abubakar to become leader in 2019, when Buhari’s term ends and this has sparked intense jostling within the rurling party.
“It’s an open rebellion; it’s an indication that many do not believe he will run in 2019,” said Cheta Nwanze, an analyst at Lagos-based advisory company SBM Intelligence. “It’s also an indication that even if he does run they don’t think he has the political machinery to pull off a return.”
Buhari won the presidency of Africa’s biggest oil producer two years ago by building a coalition that included disaffected members of the former ruling People’s Democratic Party and three other opposition groups.
A plunge in revenue caused by lower output and prices for oil, the country’s main export, saw the economy suffer its worst slump in 25 years and undermined Buhari’s ability to meet his campaign promises, such as rebuilding infrastructure and revitalizing the power industry and strengthening the naira.
Nigeria began to tighten currency controls soon after prices crashed in 2014. Analysts blamed the move, which Buhari backed when he came to power, for creating a severe shortage of foreign exchange that hammered importers and deterred investors.
The central bank has eased some restrictions this year, but still maintains a tight grip on the naira’s value.
Buhari made two visits to London this year to receive treatment for an undisclosed ailment, spending 103 days during the last trip, raising questions about his ability to complete his four-year tenure.
In his remaining two years in office, Buhari is focusing on economic recovery, ending the Boko Haram Islamist insurgency in the northeast and curbing widespread corruption before deciding on seeking another term, according to APC Chairman John Oyegun.
“At the proper time, he will decide, and at the proper time, the APC will decide and the public will know,” Oyegun told reporters Sept. 7 in the southern city of Benin.