By Stephen Adeleye
APC Stakeholders in the North Central Zone says the 2023 presidential ambition of Gov. Yahaya Bello of Kogi will not be jettisoned for the party’s chairmanship position.
The group said Bello’s ambition to become Nigeria’s next president would not be negotiated even if the zone produced the National Chairman of the APC in its forthcoming convention.
“Even if the party’s chairmanship is zoned to Okene Local Government, Yahaya Bello will contest and we will ensure victory for him by God’s grace,” the group said.
The group said this in a statement by the Director-General, North Central Coalition for Leadership, Mr Williams Oluwatoyin, on Saturday in Lokoja.
They said this on the sideline of official presentation of Staff of Office to newly approved, graded and upgraded traditional rulers in Kogi by the governor, in Lokoja.
They were reacting to a statement purportedly issued by another group, Stakeholders in Nasarawa State Council of the APC
They claimed that the group had allegedly appealed to Bello to sacrifice his presidential ambition for the rumoured national chairmanship position awaiting the zone.
The group said that the purported appeal for Bello to relinquish his ambition “belittles the zone.”
According to the APC chieftains, Bello holds the overwhelming mandate of the North Central and Nigerians as a whole to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari.
“A Bello presidency can’t be sacrificed on the altar of ‘cash and carry politics,’” they maintained, while wondering what kind of zone will be satisfied more with producing a chairman than producing a president.
“Without mincing words, we are the authentic APC Stakeholders in the north central and there is no other apart from us.
“We want to state categorically that we are in full support of Yahaya Bello’s presidential ambition and we regard the purported appeal for him to back out from the race as standing logic on its head.
“By saying this, we do not by any means, infer that anybody should not vie for the chairmanship position in the north central,” the group said.
According to the group, what has come to stay, through popular demand, is that Bello will contest the presidency, notwithstanding where the party’s chairmanship position is zoned to.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the north central has produced the national chairman of the then ruling party, the Peoples Democratic Party, not less than five times. What has this brought to our zone?
“Gov. Bello has demonstrated capacity, excellence and unequalled competence in governance and he holds the overwhelming mandate of the north central and Nigerians as a whole to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari.
”Bello’s presidency can’t be sacrificed on the altar of cash and carry politics,’’ they said. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)