Kogi state governor, Yahaya Bello, has described the quest for zoning of Presidency to the Southern region of Nigeria in the next 2023 presidential elections as unconstitutional.
Recall that the Southern Governors’ Forum, comprising of 17 governors in the zone, last Monday, met in Lagos, and after over three hours of closed doors session, unanimously, agreed and insisted on producing the next president in 2023 after the expiration of the incumbent President Muhamadu Buhari’s administration.
The governors, also, reiterated the call for true federalism and devolution of powers to states.
Governor, Ondo State and Chairman, Southern Governors’ Forum, Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu, SAN, stated this while reading communique issues at end of the meeting, held at the State House, Alausa, Ikeja.
Meanwhile, Bello, made the remark on Friday, during the maiden Annual Governor Yahaya Bello, GYB, seminar for the media, held in Transcorp Hotel, Abuja.
Speaking on the topic, titled: “Perspectives on leadership and aspiration,” Bello, stressed that Nigeria needs a leader at the present, who will unify the diverse people in the country and build on the existing legacies.
According to him, “On zoning presidency to a particular zone in 2023, we must apply equity in the process. Democracy bus all about free will. Let no political party limit the choice to a particular zone.
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“Zoning is not recognized in the 1999 Constitionis, it’s absolutely, unconstitutional.
“If we must continue with the sentiment of rotational Presidency, it’s okay, but let’s do it right in the interest of equity, fairness and justice.
“Let’s not take it from 1999, let’s go back to 1960. From the Independence, all the leaders we had, you will discover that all other geo-political zones as it exists today at one time had position of leadership.
“In the 2023 Presidential elections let the best candidate emerge who will unify and solve the problems of this country we are facing today, who will build on the legacies of Mr President. It’s high time the youth take over the affairs of this country.
“I have always lead from the front based on equity, fairness and justice. To me as a leader, I will say let us be sincere.
“Younger generations are taking charge across the world. It is high time we look for a credible candidate based on merit and not by zoning.
“As the clarion call goes forth for 2023, one can easily discern by events such as this that the Organised Media in Nigeria is already working hard to crack the complex equation of who the next Nigerian President should be.
“All I can say is that in factoring your 2023 equations, please allow yourselves to be guided by the National interest to input the following factors: Youthfulness, courage, security, diversity, clear records in successfully managing diversity which is where most post-Independence leaders of Nigeria have failed.
“Also very important, the inescapable point of equity, that is, that only the North Central and South-East Geopolitical Zones of this country have not held the Presidency or Vice Presidency, the two highest offices in the land, since the return to civilian rule in 1999.
“All talks of zoning must be the handmaid of equity or we are merely playing dangerous politics and healing the wounds of the country deceitfully.
“If one is able to develop a genuine love for the people he leads, it becomes even easier to take only those actions that benefit the people every time. This will ultimately help you succeed and also secure your legacy.
“Leadership is, therefore, the means to a lot of potentially awesome ends, but it is not an end in itself. It gives you a platform to do good and effect change. I am determined to give it my best now and in the future.
“The state of the nation today places a burden on us as leaders to act intentionally towards national healing and cooperation.
“Tribe and religion, as we all know, are the major components of our diversity as a nation.
“They are meant to be our greatest strengths, working together to give Nigeria a wider spectrum of choices and more competitiveness in the comity of nations, and in the human and social indices of national development.
“Unfortunately, we have steadily mismanaged these gifts and they have started turning toxic on us, becoming, for the most part, instruments of exclusion and coercive politics, as well as marginalisation and discrimination.
“The result is a citizenry at cross-purposes and a nation that is practically at her wits’ end.”
Bello, however, stressed that the country needed urgent re-arrangement in the ways and manners in which “we relate if we are to arrest the dangerous slide in confidence and team-building among Nigerians caused by years and years of mismanaged diversity.”
He continued: “Within the context of Kogi State which is a microcosm of Nigeria itself, our diversity was enough to tear us apart as a government in the same manner it had divided our people for decades before our coming, but that is if we allowed it.
“We refused to allow them, and by working together instead, we were able to leverage on our diversity.
“Tribe, religion, geography and class no longer play a role in the measure of anyone among us. We have Nigerians from everywhere helping us to move Kogi State forward, right from our Cabinet and into other areas and positions.
“Today we have managed to improve the sociopolitical outlook for our people and state and created an intra-state legacy of cooperation and integration which will outlast us.
“This achievement did not come from wishful thinking but by the deployment of 5 foundational mindsets from my day one in office. One, government exists for everyone and every part of society.
“Two, our constitutional guarantees of equality as citizens are binding on leaders to enforce irrespective of their own personal beliefs, feelings and inclinations.
“Three, inclusivity and equal access to government and her institutions are the inalienable right of all citizens.
“Four, Affirmative Action is for every section of the populace and governance is useless unless it ensures that wherever people are disadvantaged or excluded in our society, leadership makes it a point of duty to take action to balance the equation.
“Five, and finally, equity, unity and the fear of God are the principal bedrocks on which any society which aspires to be egalitarian, and most especially a diverse society like ours, must be built.”
Aregbesola boycotts Akande’s meeting with Osun APC elders’ caucus
Mninister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola On Tuesday shunned a meeting held at the Ila country home of the ex-Interim National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Chief Bisi Akande, to discuss party unity.
The gathering was a meeting of the Osun APC Elders’ Caucus designed to unite party members.
It was gathered that when one of the conveners of the meeting raised the issue Aregbesola’s absence, one of the conveners of the meeting, reportedly explained that the ex-governor was duly invited.
Although the meeting was held behind closed doors, it was learnt that the former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Lasun Yusuf, said many party members were aggrieved as a result of the 2018 Osun APC Governorship primary. He appealed to the elder statesman to assist in reconciliatory efforts before the next cycle of elections.
Briefing newsmen after the meeting, Akande, said the elders met regularly to discuss party issues, until the advent of COVID-19 last year.
He said, “the meeting had always existed, but because of COVID-19, the meeting had not been held for a very long time. It is the beginning of elders’ activities to move the party forward in Osun.
“We are doing all our best to resolve every crisis. I can assure you that there will be no crisis within our party before the election. We come from different constituencies in Osun and we are going back to let our people know we have started to be more active than before.”
Asked who would be flagbearer of the party in the next year’s governorship poll in Osun, Akande said, “I don’t know who our candidate may be in the forthcoming guber election, but I can assure you that our candidate will win the election in 2022.”
On the issue of the zoning of the APC 2023 Presidential ticket, he said the South will square up with the North, and “whoever becomes our candidate will win the presidency.”
Those at the meeting include: Senator Iyiola Omisore, ex Osun Deputy Governor, Titi Laoye-Ponle, ex deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Lasun Yusuff, Senate spokesperson, Ajibola Basiru, ex- Health Minister, Dr. Isaac Adewole, among others, commenced around 11:15 and ended around 1:30pm.
I will become next Nigeria president come May 29, 2023 — Yahaya Bello
Following calls to join the presidential race, Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello has said he has all the qualities needed to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari come May 29, 2023.
The governor made his intention known while featuring on Arise TV programme on Monday.
According to him, he is ready to take over from President Buhari considering his good track record in Kogi.
“By the grace of God when I would have [been] sworn in as the president and commander-in-chief taking over from Buhari on May 29, 2023, Nigeria will have a heave of relief,” he said.
When asked if he’s ready to listen to the calls of some young Nigerians calling him to contest for president come 2023, the Kogi governor answered; “When I assumed office in 2016, I inherited a state that was largely divided along ethnic, religious and tribal lines.
“I inherited a state faced with a lot of crimes and criminal activities. I was faced with a state begging for leadership. I inherited a state that required the binding of youths, women and all inclusive governance.
“But today, Kogi is more united than ever before. If what I was able to achieve in Kogi is desired at national level.
“If Nigerians across board; youth, women, leaders and followers seeing my leadership style, uniting the people, bringing in experts, adding value to governance, prudent and sincere way and manner of utilisation of our resources and getting the results, balancing the equation, which is most desired in the country today. If this multitude is yearning and calling me to come and serve this great nation in the year 2023 after president Muhammadu Buhari, I will say, yes I’m ready.
“Serving Nigeria in that greater capacity will serve the interest of the people of Kogi, Nigerians, Africa and even black race than I remaining the executive governor of Kogi.”
The Kogi governor, however, rejected calls for zoning and rotational presidency, adding that Nigeria needs a competent leader who can unite Nigerians and solve the problems facing the country.
2023: 6 APC govs oppose Tinubu’s presidential ambition — Dayo Adeyeye
National Chairman, South-West Agenda for Bola Tinubu’s presidential ambition, codenamed (SWAGA) 2023, Mr. Dayo Adeyeye has disclosed that 16 All Progressives Congress (APC) governors are covertly supporting the presidential aspiration of the former Lagos State governor.
The party currently has 22 governors under its platform.
Adeyeye, a former Minister of Works (state), said this while inaugurating the factional executives belonging to SWAGA group across the 16 local government areas of Ekiti State.
The former minister said: “Bola Tinubu will be the next President of this country and one of us will become the governor in Ekiti State. I am happy that the new executives have passion for this group and this will lead to action and, eventually, victory for all of us.
“APC leaders and members across board are using their money to fund SWAGA. Members are not after money. Let me tell you this, 16 governors are now backing Tinubu for president and they are no longer afraid, after Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State openly supported us when we did the flag off in Lagos.”
On the new parallel executives inaugurated by SWAGA, the former Minister said: “Those that were inaugurated today (yesterday) are the authentic APC executives in Ekiti. The party at the national level brought out a guideline that people should come out and queue to vote for the ward and local government congresses, but these people didn’t come out.”
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