MAKURDI, Nigeria - Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari's bid for re-election next year could hinge on the swing states of the country's "Middle Belt"
MAKURDI, Nigeria – Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari’s bid for re-election next year could hinge on the swing states of the country’s “Middle Belt”. Worryingly for him, a surge in violence there and rising food prices are chipping away at his support.
The 75-year-old former military ruler declared this week that he would seek another term, ending months of speculation about his future after bouts of ill health. His candidacy still depends on party approval, which is seen as a formality.
He was responding to public “clamor” to run again, his spokesman said, but among those caught up in clashes between semi-nomadic herdsmen and settled farmers in the central Benue state there was little sign of enthusiasm.
“We will look for someone who is fit to protect lives and property in Nigeria,” said Philip Usartse, a farmer who fled with his family when armed herdsmen attacked their village in January, leaving corpses and burnt houses in their wake.