By Bukar Bolori
Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello has said that Nigerians should encourage what further unite the country at this time, insisting that the zoning of the office of the President should be thrown off board.
It would be recalled that there are strong clamour for the President to come from the South after the ongoing President Muhammadu Buhari who is a northerner finish his second term in office in 2023.
Bello, a northerner from Kogi State in the North Central who has declared his ambition to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari, on Friday at the opening of the second Annual GYB Seminar for Nigeria’s Political and Crime Correspondents in Abuja, described zoning as a divisive arrangement which should be jettissioned ahead of the 2023 elections.
Bello, while stating that Nigeria deserves the very best to be in the helm, said he was putting himself forward as that man that would champion a new Nigeria where drawback sentiments would be a thing of the past.
He said: “I don’t think we should continue to dwell on that which divides us, which is the zone we come from or the religion we practice.”
Bello who claimed that no matter the option used to decide the presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), whether direct, indirect or consensus option, he remained the man to beat, said: “If Consensus is going to be an option, I don’t think APC will go outside Governor Yahaya Bello. And if otherwise other considerations are put forward, that is either indirect or direct, Governor Yahaya Bello is the man to beat.”
He added that: “I am confident and I trust God almighty and I trust the judgement of the leadership and members of my great party, the APC. This time around is the time we must jettision this mundane sentiment of where he comes from. It is time to bridge that gap and cement that relationship and dwell more on that which unite us than what divides us.”
Bello while admitting that the APC wants to win the next election and as such in search of quality candidate, who can win at the General Election, said the body language of the nation today is Yahaya Bello as the youth and women are already clamouring for him being detribalised and capable of solving the insecurity challenges in the country.
He revealed that none of the chairmanship aspirants at the last national convention of the party was forced to step down for the new Chairman, Senator Abdulahi Adamu that emerged through consensus.
He noted that Adamu emerged as a result of the need of the party for a strong personality with historical knowledge of the country’s politics, while insisting that the emergence of Adamu has made the party stronger than ever.
He said: “APC is the party to beat, APC is the party that will be in the next government after President Muhammadu Buhari. APC wants to win all elections, APC is a party that is strategic. As a party we must be stable, as a party we must be solid, as a party we need that person or leadership that has historical memory of how politics or the evolution of politics and governance in Nigeria.
The Kogi State Governor said: “We require such an experienced personality, irrespective of where he or she comes from. Forget about what is put out there as whether zoning or no zoning. What is important is who is that man who will be the leader and put the party together and that quality was found in Senator Abdulahi Adamu.
He insisted that had the party gone by sentiment at the last convention, it would have been consumed and there wouldn’t have been APC today.
He noted that everyone in the party decided to tow the line of President to ensure that such a quality personality as Adamu be allowed to take charge of the party.
On deplorable state of insecurity in the country, Bello did not singled Buhari out for condemnation but rather blamed the problem on the successive failure of various administrations.
He, however, claimed that Buhari has degraded Boko Haram insurgents and secure the nation’s capital that at a time witnessed series of bombings before he assumed office.
He said: “This insecurity of a thing is not a thing of Mr. President even though we should not pass the bulk, because that is why he came on board or we all came on board.
“It is a successive failure of various administrations. Let me remind us once again that certain military and police hardware were not in existence or was last purchased during the administration of President Sheu Shagari. Even crash helmets
“Let me tell you, I will never come out here and point out the flaws. I will never do that. Wherever I observe any loopholes or lapses it is between myself and President Muhammadu Buhari to let him know
“I will never be that governor who will come out here and tell you that President Muhammadu Buhari did not come and secure my state. He did not come and secure my schools or my highways, I will not do that. That is why as the Chief security Officer of Kogi state, I ensured that I brought crime from the zenith down to the floor in my state. And Mr. President is assisting me to succeed in that area. I am sincere about fighting crimes and criminalities.”
He noted that: “If each and everyone of us (governors) as chief executives are doing our job the way it should be, Mr. President’s job would have been reduced drastically.”