Why Defeating A Sitting African President Is Near Impossible

Many have tried. Many have failed. It should be the ninth wonder of the world. An African president only leaves when he wants to or probably dies prematurely. Opposition leaders across the continent have had nightmares trying to dethrone these leaders. They have failed spectacularly. Over and over again. But why is it so hard?

First of all, it is a fact that defeating an incumbent tosses you against great odds.
When President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria handed over power to Muhammadu Buhari after losing the election in 2015, we had one of those rare moments.
On the other hand, we have sitting presidents who have each been ruling for more than 20 years. In these countries, elections are just but a formality and are usually marred with rigging and violence.
Sitting presidents have government machinery under their control. They have access to numerous resources that they use in campaigns and even voter bribery. While in these positions, the can plant stooges in the police, judiciary and the government and have a layer of protection in the event that something goes wrong.
Below is a list of the top 5 longest ruling presidents as at 2017;
Paul Biya – Cameroon- 42 years
Teodoro Obiang Mbasogo- Equatorial Guinea- 38 years
Robert Mugabe- Zimbabwe- 37 years
Yoweri Museveni- Uganda -31 years
Omar al-Bashir –Sudan -28 years
The only proven way that beats incumbents is to have a candidate who has a message that rings and resonates. They has to be a stark ideological contrast with the incumbent. Unfortunately, most of these people do not see the light of the day or are frustrated until they give up.

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