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Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari arrives at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, Nigeria, Aug. 19, 2017 (Photo by Sunday Aghaeze for the Nigerian State House via AP).

A Party Split in Nigeria May Be the Least of Buhari’s Re-Election Worries

Monday, July 16, 2018

Last week, Nigeria’s ruling party, the All Progressives Congress, split, with several parliamentarians and former allies of President Muhammadu Buhari breaking away to form the Reformed-All Progressives Congress, or R-APC. “The APC has run a rudderless, inept and incompetent government that has failed to deliver good governance to the Nigerian people,” the national chairman of the new rival faction, Buba Galadima, a former Buhari confidant, declared.

In a sense, the schism merely formalized tensions within the APC that go back years. On one level, it reflects some northern Nigerian politicians’ impatience with waiting their turn for the presidency and with Buhari having carried the region’s banner since 2011. Nigeria is set to hold presidential elections next February, when Buhari, who in 2015 became the first opposition candidate to ever unseat a Nigerian president, will seek re-election. The possibility of Buhari being president until 2023 means all other ambitious northerners could hit a ceiling. A term-limited governor can still go to the Senate, and rising northern stars can join the Cabinet, but the highest office would be out of reach. ...

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