Embattled Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari is under pressure to step down from activists on both sides of the isle, but instead he marches forward into next year's elections. Buhari previously led the country as a military dictator in the 80s before being democratically elected in 2015, but now even some of his allies are questioning his ability to lead. Many people have concerns about his ability to counter the terrorist groups in the northeast of the country and his slaughter of Igpo activists in the south, all on top of his mysterious health problems.

The North

Buhari has been fighting Boko Haram, an ISIS affiliate, in The North of the country since he took office. The group is responsible for multiple kidnappings of hundreds of school girls and the deaths of hundreds of Nigerian soldiers. Despite Buhari's claims that the terrorist militia was defeated nearly two years ago, Boko Haram persists as a formidable military power.

The Muslim North of Nigeria has dominated politics recently, and expect their reign to continue. The most likely challenger to Buhari is Atiku Abubakar, a wealthy businessman and former vice president. Both men are above 70 years old and many of Buhari's former allies are asking him to let a new generation come to power, meaning the establishment isn't excited for Abubakar either.

Buhari recently spent 4 months in London due to his unannounced health problems, leading some to fear he would never return. The 75 year old announced in a private meeting that he is running for reelection and currently he is the favorite, but some are skeptical of the voter's trust in his ability to lead. The economic downturn, persistence of Boko Haram, and worsening relation between farmers and herders have painted Buhari as weak.

The country is now doing well economically, despite enduring a recession in 2016 and 2017. The world bank characterizes the country as a top ten nation for economic reforms and the economy is once again growing. Corruption remains pervasive throughout all industries, but especially in the oil industry, which provides a substantial amount of private revenue for the country.

The South

In the South, things are not as rosy. The Biafra region continues to be a thorn in the side of the president and, in turn, the president has continued to increase brutality in the region. Activist Maxwell Chunks wrote about recent attacks by the Buhari government on the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) activist group at the funeral of Odika Esieme Chukwuma, one of their members. It is said that up to 40 IPOB members remain missing.

Ayisha Osori, a Nigerian author, lawyer, and activist, believes it's too early to tell if Buhari will win this election. but that he won't garner support from the south of the country. The 2015 election data shows that Buhari has trouble garnering support in the majority Christian south, a divide that dates back to the Nigerian Civil War. Osori says the South believes it's "their turn" to have the presidency in order to restore the balance in Nigerian society.