Yahaya Bello, Governor of Kogi state and Presidential aspirant on the platform of the All Progressives Congress has stated that he is not intimidated by the growing number of party bigwigs joining the presidential race.
According to Yahaya Bello, he is not deterred by a consensus arrangement as he stands a chance to emerge as the party’s flag bearer no matter the election process deployed.
This was made known hy Bello at a media chat in Abuja organised by the Yahaya Bello Presidential Campaign Organisation.
His claim comes a day after Vice President Yemi Osinbajo officially declared his intention to run for the country’s top office and national leader of the APC, Bola Tinubu, consulted with APC governors over his presidential ambition.
The Governor who was represented by his commissioner of information and communications, Kingsley Fanwo, said, “I am not intimidated by their pedigree, profile experience and exposure and what they’ve done in the past. Now, when you compare that to what someone is doing at the moment, I think they are the ones that should be intimidated right now.
“Because it is not about what you have achieved in the past. It’s going to be what you are doing now and what you can do for this nation from 2023.
“The governor has also garnered some experience. He has been a chief executive of his state for the past six, seven years. And also, he has been able to see governance at very close rates. So we are very confident that he’s going to do a great job for Niger.
On his chances of emerging as the APC’s flag bearer in next year’s general elections if the party toes the path of consensus or zoning, he said, “The governor said, I’m going to quote him now. I was born in North Central. I was born an Egbira man. I did not choose to be an Egbira, I did not choose to be a northerner. That should not determine the criteria for hiring leaders.
“We always bring these to politics. We don’t use it in other places. Now, the driver that will take you from here to Onitsha, what you are interested in is, is he a good driver?
“In politics, we use that sentiment, where is he or she coming from? In 2023, it is going to change. The zoning may be competence, capacity, patriotism, a unifier, or a bridge builder. That is where we are zoning it to. Whether the person is a northerner, Southerner, Igbo, or Hausa, it does not matter anymore.
“So on rotation, we are ready for the battle ahead. It is going to be about capacity and competence.”
Asked why the Governor chose to declare his intention to run for president in the federal capital city and not his state, as other aspirants had done, Fanwo said the FCT represents the country’s centre and therefore qualifies as the best location to declare.
“We need to de-emphasise the issue of regional champions. This is the centre of the nation. This is the capital of the nation.
“He wants to be the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and not the President of Kogi State.
“Therefore, it is imperative that you come and talk to the people at the centre, where you could bring people from all over the country to come together. This is the place that unites all of us as Nigerians. That is the reason we declared here,” he said.