The National Executive Committee (NEC) of Nigeria’s ruling party, the APC, has endorsed President Muhammadu Buhari to seek second term next year; two senior party sources told Reuters yesterday.
Buhari, who took office in May 2015, has not yet said whether he intends to seek re-election or not. The NEC which takes decisions on the party’s direction, held a one-day meeting which was concluded late on Tuesday.
“The party made it clear that this endorsement is not an automatic ticket for the president,” one of the sources said, adding that the party would still conduct a presidential primary to be fair to other potential candidates.
A spokesman for the president could not be reached for comment.
Nigeria’s political parties must select their candidates for the 2019 presidential election between August 18 and October 7 this year. Presidential and parliamentary elections are scheduled to take place on February 16, 2019.
Adebayo Shittu, Nigeria’s Minister of Communication who played a prominent role in Buhari’s 2015 campaign, said in January he would chair a group to support the re-election of Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
Campaigning for the re-election of a president in Nigeria often started with such support groups before the incumbent declares intention to run again.