Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State at the weekend said he has what it takes to provide purposeful leadership and good governance for Nigeria if elected as president in the 2023 general elections.
Speaking exclusively with Daily Independent, the governor, who is currently in his second term, appealed to Nigerians to join hands with him in the struggle to liberate the country from many of the challenges confronting her.
While praising President Muhammadu Buhari for his efforts so far since assumption of office in May 2015, the governor, who said he wants to consolidate on the achievements of President Buhari, said the president is a kind-hearted leader who means well for the country and has genuine interests of Nigerians in all his dealings.
According to him, aside President Buhari and few Nigerian leaders, majority of the present crop of leaders today do not have the interest of the country at heart.
He further urged Nigerians to keep faith with the All Progressives Congress (APC) and ignore the antics of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), saying it is the only party that can take Nigeria to the Promised Land.
He said, “I want everyone to join me in the struggle to liberate this country. We must seize this golden opportunity to save our nation.
“By the grace of God, I’m ready to lead and I will provide all the quality leadership that is required in the country.
“Let us do our bit to support the current administration and join hands with President Muhammadu Buhari to save this country. Those that are leading today, I can assure you that apart from Mr. President and very few ones, others don’t have the interest of the country at heart. They don’t care about us and that is the truth”.
Last week, Arewa Youth Trust Foundation (AYTF), a Zaria-based group with roots across the six geo-political zones of the country, urged Governor Bello to declare his interest in the presidential race.
The group’s leader, Dr. Fahad Chikaji Ahmed, said the youthful governor has the ability to take the country to a higher pedestal in its quest to attain the best in terms of growth and development.
Ahmed described Bello as a political leader and an administrator who is imbued with a genuine passion to facilitate and promote the socio-economic and infrastructural development of the country.
“Many Nigerians are proud to endorse his candidature for the presidential seat, not only in the near future, but also in the 2023 elections because he would be a candidate who has the potential to restore peace to Nigeria and also effectively carry the youths along.
“Nigerians deserve better and ought to demand better. Governor Bello, as the president, will provide an opportunity for Nigerians to regain their long-established appetite for compromise to tackle the country’s most pressing challenges at home and for an international common cause to safeguard the gains of internal democracy and prosperity.”
The South-East Coordinator of the group, Mike Festus, said: “He is a man of faith and unquantifiable love for others. He took seriously, too, the Quranic Hadith that those who have been given great abilities must use those abilities for others.”
It would be recalled that in December 2019, Kogi House of Assembly passed a resolution in which it asked Yahaya Bello to run as either president or vice-president in 2023.
In a motion sponsored by Hassan Abdullahi, the Majority Leader of the House, Bello has performed well since he assumed office in 2016 and has initiated sound economic policies and programmes.
“The right honourable speaker and honourable members of the Kogi State House of Assembly upon due deliberation of proper motion therefore, do hereby unanimously make and pass a vote of confidence on His Excellency, Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State,” the lawmaker said.
“That this Kogi State House of Assembly further makes a call to national service to His Excellency, Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State and we hereby impress it upon him to run for the office of the president or vice-president of Nigeria in 2023 – after his current assignment in Kogi State.
“That this solemn call is first and foremost premised upon and borne out of our belief that the subject, Yahaya Bello, is a fit and proper person, with the right mix of youth, experience and track record to answer – same firmly and decisively in 2023 and beyond.”
Also speaking, the Speaker of the Kogi State House of Assembly, Matthew Kolawole, said they (lawmakers) will move across the country to mobilise fellow lawmakers in all the states of the federation to support the governor’s presidential ambition.