Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday criticized fellow leaders for extending term limits to cling to power, saying it had a “corrosive” effect and promising free and fair elections. when the country elects a successor in February.
Some of Buhari’s African partners are among longest serving leaders In the world. President Paul Biya of neighboring Cameroon has been in power for nearly four decades, trailing behind Teodoro Obiang of Equatorial Guinea, who ruled the tiny Central African country for 43 years.
Buhari, 79, who took office after defeating an incumbent president in the 2015 election, will make way for a new leader in another peaceful transfer of power that will bolster popular opinion. owner of Nigeria in a coup-prone region.
Nigeria ended decades of military rule in 1999.
Speaking at the United Nations General Assembly last week, Mr. Buhari said Africa’s most populous country has invested heavily in ensuring free and fair elections.
“We believe in the sanctity of constitutional limits and we have steadfastly adhered to it in Nigeria. We have seen the corrosive effect of values as leaders elsewhere seek to change the rules to stay in power,” Buhari said.
“As President, I have made it my goal that one of the lasting legacies I want to leave behind is to create a free, fair and transparent, and trustworthy electoral process, through where Nigerians elect the leaders of their choice.”
Election campaign officially begins next week and ruling party candidate Bola Tinubu and main opposition flag bearer Atiku Abubakar are considered the leading contenders.