Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, has promised not to betray Nigerians if given the opportunity to be the next President of the country in 2023.
He made the promise during a telephone conversation with North-East legislators, as part of consultations towards his presidential ambition on Thursday.
This is as he expressed optimism that he will win the 2023 presidential election with the prayers and support of the legislators whom he described as “critical stakeholders”.
He, however, said that the task ahead is enormous for them, although “it is about all of us, it is about our party, about Nigeria and about our future, but by the grace of God, with your support and prayers, I know we will get to the promised land.”
He added: “I would have been there personally to appreciate you, but you know that everywhere I go, the crowd is always too much and I don’t want to be seen to be breaking the law since open campaigns have not been allowed; I want to keep to the law. I’ll come around when the ban is lifted to speak to you one-on-one in your various enclaves. However, my Speaker and other well spirited Nigerians are moving around the country and are talking to people of importance, especially critical stakeholders like you.
I want to promise you that I will not disappoint any of you, looking at the relationship I have with the Speaker of the Kogi State House of Assembly, I know that by the grace of God, we will have a more robust and wonderful relationship. We will get to the Presidential Villa on May 29th, 2023.
I need your support, I need your prayers, I need your buy-in, I need you very much so that together, we can save this country and build on the successes of President Muhammadu Buhari. I once again promise that I will not betray your trust, I will not disappoint you because I am a man who keeps promises and trust.”
In his welcome speech, the convener of the meeting, the Speaker of Kogi State House of Assembly, Matthew Kolawole, who said that if power is allowed to go to the south, the north would have been shortchanged, pointed out that the North Central is the only zone that has neither produced a President or Vice since 1960.
“Laying aside the unconstitutional aberration called military rule during which every part of this country has produced the Head of State, we are categorical that only the North Central, our region, has not produced an elected President or Vice President of Nigeria since Independence in 1960. Since Nigeria returned to democratic system of governance in 1999, twenty-three years ago, North Central has not been lucky to occupy the number one seat in the country’s leadership.
There is no gainsaying that the North Central is blessed with credible and prominent personalities who have contributed and still contributing to the overall development of this country, hence North Central is appealing to other zones in the Northern region to give us the opportunity to produce the next President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
Kolawole urged the Mai Mala Buni Caretaker Committee not to zone the Chairmanship position to the North Central because it is interested in producing the next President.
He said, “Accordingly, we urge the CECPC and all the leading institutions of our great party the APC not to join the disturbing bandwagon of directly or indirectly zoning the position of the next National Chairman to the North Central zone because we are interested in and will be making strong bids for the next President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. This we shall continue to agitate for till our voice is heard.
t is on this note I want to announce to you that one of our own, the youngest Governor in the country who is making us proud across board, Governor Yahaya Bello has signified his intention to lead the country come 2023 and because of his antecedents, qualities and unprecedented performances in security, economic prosperity, good governance, youths/women inclusiveness in governance, infrastructures development, human capital development etc, I hereby wish to call on our colleagues from the North -ast to support and endorse him as the candidate for the President come 2023.”
Also speaking, the Speaker, Bauchi State House of Assembly and Chairman, Conference of Speakers of State Legislatures of Nigeria, Abubakar Suleiman, stated that as loyal party members, they will always abide by the decisions of the party even though they desire that power remains in the north.
Suleiman, who also urged his colleagues in the North-East region to support the presidential ambition of Bello, went on to eulogiSe him, saying he has learnt a lot from him, through him directly and through his colleague, the Kogi State Speaker. He described Bello as a detribalised Nigerian who has people from different parts of the country in his cabinet.
He said, “You know this forum cannot end without bringing the issue of Yahaya Bello because it is an open secret that he sponsored this meeting and he deserves a kudos.
We all know that Yahaya Bello is a youth who is agile, strong, athletic, humble, straightforward and determined. He also has the maturity and he’s a promise-keeper. Yahaya Bello is also generous. I believe that at the end of this meeting, members will testify to this point.”