Accessibility links

Analyst Talks About Buhari's Primary Win - 2003-01-08

Patrick Smith is the editor of the fortnightly newsletter, Africa Confidential, published in London. He told English to Africa reporter Richard Kotey that Nigerian politics is becoming more and more interesting with the nomination of former military rulers.

He says there's now a "consortium of three former military rulers" in Nigerian politics: incumbent president, Olusegun Obansanjo; former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari, who was nominated by the All Nigeria Peoples Party; and in the background, former ruler General Ibrahim Babangida.

He says, "Retired military officers are as entitled as anyone else to stand for election. And that's exectly what they've done." Mr. Smith says, "What is surprising to some is that there have been no serious investigations as to the source of their vast wealth, particularly in the cases of generals Buhari and Babangida."

He says there are reports General Buhari will benefit from the funds of the family of the late military ruler, Sani Abacha. General Abacha had chosen General Buhari for a post in his government. Many believe General Abachi had embezzled as much as three to four billion dollars while in power.

Mr. Smith says it could raise important legal issues regarding campaign funding.