Nigeria’s vice president announces he will run for president

ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — Nigeria’s Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said Monday that he will run for president in next year’s election.

Osinbajo, 65, formally declared his intention to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari, who will be stepping down after serving two terms. In a video broadcast, Osinbajo promised to “complete” what he and Buhari started when they both were elected in 2015, including “radically transforming” Nigeria’s security and intelligence operations.

Osinbajo is seeking the nomination of the ruling party, the All Progressives Congress, and is from the Christian-dominated southern Nigeria which is widely favored to produce the country’s next leader.

His declaration on Monday was received with mixed feelings among Nigerians on social media as the current administration — elected on promises to curb corruption and end violent killings in the country — is being criticized for continued violence.

Osinbajo’s declaration “failed to inspire,” said Adewunmi Emoruwa, the lead strategist at Gatefield, an Abuja-based policy consultancy group.

“Centering his speech on his administration’s abysmal records reflects a degree of tone-deafness that would leave even his ardent supporters feeling discontented. Nigerians who have become more oppressed, impoverished, and insecure don’t want to hear more of the same failed promises,” said Emoruwa.

Nigeria, Africa’s largest oil producer and the continent’s most populous country with 206 million people, is plagued by persistently high rates of poverty, unemployment and insecurity.

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