Nigeria Boko
President Goodluck Jonathan is to run for a second term Reuters

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has officially declared that he will run for a second term as head of state in the country's general election next year.

"I, Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan, have accepted to present myself on the platform of the PDP," he said at a mass rally of People's Democratic Party supporters in the capital, Abuja.

"After seeking the face of God, and in the quiet of my family ... I have accepted to present myself," Jonathan added.

His office had earlier confirmed that he would run in February's elections but he was yet to announce the news himself.

Jonathan has been president of Africa's most populous country and largest economy since 2010, when he was vice-president and succeeded President Umaru Yar'Adua following his death. He went on to win elections in 2011.

He has faced increasing criticism within Nigeria for failing to thwart an insurgency by the Islamist militant group Boko Haram; his handling of the kidnap of over 200 schoolgirls from the village of Chibok; and his failure to deal with rampant corruption in the government.

According to Human Rights Watch, the militants have killed at least 2,053 people since the beginning of 2014, but researchers at the John Hopkins University School of International Studies estimate that 7,000 people have been killed in the 12 months between July 2013 and June this year.