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Yahaya Bello and quest for APC presidential ticket

By Seye Olumide (Southwest Bureau Chief)
07 November 2021   |   3:02 am
One of the contenders seeking to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2023 is Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State.

Yahaya Bello. Photo/facebook/OfficialGYBKogi

One of the contenders seeking to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2023 is Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State. And he has remained resolute in his ambition in spite of the odds against him on the basis of the geopolitical zone (North Central).

Bello’s political support base believes that what Nigeria needs after the expiration of the tenure of President Buhari is a young, energetic and cerebral personality like the governor of Kogi State. For them, the arguments of zoning should be discountenanced given that no part of the Nigerian Constitution recognises zoning as a precondition for electing competent hands to manage the affairs of Nigeria.

 
The Bello supporters also believe that his giant strides and achievements in Kogi State since 2015 is a pointer to what he is able to bring to bear if given a shot at the presidency. As the number of presidential hopefuls swells across the country, Bello is also already striking the needed cordial relationship with the media across the board.

Interestingly, the Bello support presidential groups have a wide geographical spread across the six geopolitical zones. Worthy of note is the fact that some Christian groups are also keying into the Kogi State governor’s ambition. This reinforces the understanding that Bello’s political structure cuts across the grassroots, women, youths, religious bodies (Christian/Muslim), professional bodies and student unions across tertiary institutions and even secondary schools.
 
It would be recalled a women group, Southwest Women Arise for Nigeria (SWWAFON) in Lagos recently extolled the virtues of Governor Bello, describing him as a role model for the Nigerian government in the area of women inclusion, and for allowing a good number of women in politics in the state.

The women, drawn from key professions, said Bello deserved the honour for helping to demonstrate, through his appointments, that when women hold strategic positions in government, society gains.

Rising from its Second Quarterly Conference, SWAFFON, in a communiqué, said Bello’s inclusion of women in strategic positions in his cabinet and across local councils in the state, was already producing good results in major sectors of the state. They recommended that the present leadership of the ruling APC should consider giving him the party’s presidential ticket.
 
Yet in another clarion call, a political movement for the actualisation of Bello’s presidential ambition, PYB Frontiers called on Nigerians to rally around the Bello to ensure he succeeds President Buhari in 2023. Chairman of the group, Hans Mohammed disclosed that the group has commenced consultation to ensure the governor got the APC ticket.

 
While the women group noted that Bello’s leadership would give women better chance, the support group noted that the Kogi State governor has what it takes to tackle insecurity in Nigeria.
 
They maintained that a Bello-led presidency would be an added advantage to Nigeria and Nigerians as he would be able to build on the legacies of President Buhari.
 
A Christian association, under the auspices of the Christian Youth Leadership Network, also attested that Bello remains the right choice to succeed President Buhari in 2023.
 
The group made the assertion during the opening of its two-day National Retreat with the theme, ‘Kingdom Dimension: Effective Leadership and Governance.’
 
Apostle Faith Eches, the convener of the retreat, said with youth of Bello’s calibre in the saddle, could change the narratives of the country through effective leadership and governance.
 
Eches said the kind of President that could actualise the collective dreams of Nigerians and address their challenges was needed urgently.
 
“We the youth of this country, under the umbrella of Christian Youth Leadership Network, represented from across the 36 states of the federation and the FCT are saying Yahaya Bello is the best.”
 
Arch. Bishop Jonathan Maji, Chief Missioner and Director, Springs of Life Resource Centre, said the choice of Bello was because he had exemplified leadership in Kogi.
 
According to Maji, Bello has successfully collapsed ethnicity, ‘godfatherism’, and nipped insecurity in the bud to a certain extent, a prototype of expression of Nigeria we all dream of. “That is why the Christian youths have come out to endorse Gov. Yahaya Bello,” Maji said.
 
Some observers said Bello would be a completely detribalise President if given the opportunity. In his cabinet, Bello has the combination of Yoruba, Igbo, Hausa, Fulani, South-South and others who are working as a team to develop the state. He has been able to radically unite the people. And he is expected to replicate this if elected as president, especially now that Nigeria appears more divided more than ever. He recently built on the unity policy by initiating the EBIGO policy, an acronym from the names of the major ethnic groups in the state – Ebira, Igala and Okun. 
 
Guided by the government-crafted compass that he christened New Direction Agenda, and which has been upgraded for his second term in office, Governor Bello has been resolute in his determination not to gamble with the welfare and future of the people of the state.
 
Broken into five thematic areas, the New Direction Agenda, according to the state Commissioner for Information and Communications, Evangelist Kingsley Fanwo, has been “sparking a revolution.” Fanwo added that the effect of the revolution is already being felt in all facets of the state.