Governor Yahaya Bello, a presidential candidate on the All Progressives Congress (APC) platform, claims that 26 million Nigerians are ready to back him in his bid to become the country’s president in 2023.
“It is high time we deemphasised this issue of zoning. In the country today, all that Nigerians want, for instance, is who will secure them. Out of the 26 million Nigerians who want to support me, they know I am from the North,” stated the Kogi governor. “But by my performance, by my desire to serve this country, they are all out there to support me, not minding where I come from.”
Mr Bello, who said this on Sunday in Abuja, advised the elite to “lift their knees off the necks of citizens and let Nigerians breathe.”
According to him, he is in the race to change the narratives of regional politics in Nigeria.
“So if Nigeria’s younger generations can try to deemphasise that dichotomy and we still have some leaders (I refer to them as regional leaders) who are still emphasising this, then Nigerians and the delegates should shine their eyes,” the Kogi governor added. “If you go to America today, you do not care where Biden comes from. If you go to the United Kingdom, you do not know where the prime minister comes from.”
He added, “In the United Arab Emirates, most people do not know where the ruler comes from. So why are we always emphasising this?”
Responding to the decision of the northern governors to support a southern candidate as presidential flag bearer, Mr Bello suggested that not all northern governors agreed on that conclusion.
“If you look at the last convention, when all of us came up with a consensus, you will see how each and every governor endorsed that document,” the APC presidential hopeful stated. “If you put that side by side with this, that is flying around in the social media you will see a statement first then signatures. It was just concocted to heat up the polity.”