Johannesburg/Lagos — Uncertainty over Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari running for a second term in 2019 has set off an early race to succeed him in Africa’s most populous nation, according to a senior ruling party official. Buhari, 74, stayed more than seven weeks in the UK in 2017 to receive treatment for an undisclosed ailment, sparking concern about government paralysis and triggering speculation about the severity of his condition. He returned to Nigeria on March 10, but was expected to fly back to London for further care, his spokesman said. "Because of the feeling that the president may not run for a second term, people are already gearing up," Nasir El-Rufai, a senior official of the ruling All Progressives Congress and governor of the central state of Kaduna, said on Monday. "All of us are getting distracted by the coterie of ambitious presidential aspirants that are trying to kick-start the political process ahead of the normal timeline."  A former military leader, Buha...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, ProfileData financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Sunday Times Daily.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems? Email or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now