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Nigeria’s Tinubu launches presidential campaign

Ishaq Khalid BBC News, Abuja

The presidential candidate of Nigeria’s governing All Progressives Congress (APC) party, Bola Tinubu, has formally launched his campaign ahead of next February’s election.

At the rally, Mr Tinubu promised to “build a Nigeria where all citizens will be able to build a decent life from the fruits of their individual and collective endeavour”.

Outgoing President Muhammadu Buhari was among the party leaders who attended the rally at a stadium in the central city of Jos.

Mr Tinubu’s supporters waved brooms – the symbol of the APC party.

He said the party was committed to “the ideals of progressive, democratic governance” in Africa’s most-populous country and biggest economy.But the 70-year-old is being mocked on social media for a gaffe.

He mistakenly started to mention the main opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in his prayers when he meant to say the APC.

“God bless Nigeria, God bless PD….,’’ he said, but quickly corrected himself, mentioning the APC repeatedly in the remainder of the prayers.

Mr Tinubu is among nearly 20 candidates competing to succeed Mr Buhari, who is serving his second and final term in office.

Other prominent contenders include former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar of the PDP, former governor of Anambra state Peter Obi of the Labour Party and former governor of Kano state Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso of the NNPP.

Nigeria is Africa’s largest democracy with tens of millions of eligible voters.

Key campaign issues include endemic insecurity, national unity and high rates of poverty and unemployment.

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