Buhari, 78 others to vie for presidency in 2019
As the 2019 general elections approach in Nigeria, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Friday revealed that President Muhammadu Buhari and 78 other candidates will be contesting the seat of the president in February 2019.
Buhari faces competition from a competitive list of candidates from other political parties including former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, and former minister of education, Obiageli Ezekwesili.
Other prominent presidential candidates include one-time Cross Rivers State governor Donald Duke, former Central Bank of Nigeria deputy governor Kingsley Moghalu, popular public speaker Fela Durotoye, and Sahara Reporters publisher Omoyele Sowore.
INEC chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, confirmed the number of participating political parties at a press briefing in Abuja.
Mahmood disclosed that aside from the 79 presidential candidates, 89 parties fielded 1,803 candidates for the 109 senatorial seats and 4,548 for the 350 federal constituencies.
The chairman promised to make available a breakdown of the different candidates and the parties they represent.
Although Nigeria currently has 91 registered political parties, not all have fielded presidential candidates.
Nigeria’s ruling party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), hopes to retain power after the election, while major opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) that governed the country from 1999 to 2015 is aiming at a return to power
The less popular parties hope to challenge the political status quo of both APC and PDP which consists of members who were once part of the other, having cross-carpeted from one to another.
Campaign for the elections start in November, according to INEC.