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Nigeria’s Abubakar launches presidential bid to to save country from ‘frightening descent’ into anarchy


Nigeria’s main opposition leader Atiku Abubakar launched his presidential election campaign on Wednesday calling for a sweeping victory to save the country from a “frightening descent” into anarchy.

Official election campaigning started on Wednesday, ahead of a February presidential vote to choose a successor to President Muhammadu Buhari, who is serving a final second term.

Nigeria’s next leader will inherit a country beset by growing insecurity, separatist agitation, a sluggish economy, double-digit inflation, industrial crude oil theft, and a growing petrol subsidy bill that is draining government finances.

Abubakar, 75, and a former vice president between 1999-2007 is running for the third time. He said a People’s Democratic Party (PDP) government would rebuild the economy, improve security and the education sector and run a smaller government.

Abubakar has previously said he would give more power to the 36 states, remove the oil subsidy and privatize the national oil firm and allow the private sector a greater role in the economy.

Polls in Nigeria are unreliable, but Tinubu and Abubakar - both septuagenarian political veterans - lead the two biggest political parties that have ruled Nigeria since the return to democratic rule in 1999.

The PDP is seeking to return to power after its defeat by Buhari’s APC in 2015.


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