2023 Presidency: Competence should be the criteria – Governor Bello

Timothy Choji, Abuja

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As permutations continue ahead of the 2023 general elections in Nigeria, Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, says the most competent person should be elected to succeed incumbent President, Muhammadu Buhari.

He, therefore, dismissed calls for rotational presidency, saying it has outlived its usefulness.

The Governor made the remarks in Abuja, on Thursday, in an interview with State House Correspondents after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa.

Calls to contest 

Bello, who said he may heed ‘calls by Nigerians’ to contest the 2023 presidential election, stressed that competence and capacity should be the criteria for electing the next president and not ethnicity or region.

He said: “For once let’s get Nigeria fixed. We have practised seemingly rotational presidencies since 1999 to date, let us evaluate our successes or achievements from this seeming rotational presidency between then, and now.

“Why don’t we simply go for the best? After all, we copy this democracy from America and some of the developed world, how many of these countries are practising traditional presidency? You see, we are where we are today not because we are practising rotational presidency.

 “If you want to go by that rotational presidency, then do perfect zoning. Go by perfect rotation. In addition, if you go by rotation and whichever way you come from, I do not think you should exclude where I come from. That’s number one. 

“Number two, let us get a credible, sincere, patriotic, Nigeria to fix it. If you are flying an aircraft, you do not ask who the pilot is. If you take the operation in a hospital, you would not ask which doctor is this, is he from your zone, your tribe, your religion, all you want is the best pilot to fly you safely to your destination. All you want is you want the best doctor to handle you and deliver you safely from the operation.

Also Read: Kogi House of Assembly Endorses Governor Yahaya Bello For Presidency

“So, I want to believe that when the time comes, Nigerians will see reasons. Of course, already, they are calling on me that as you come, run, just a little time I have asked them to relax and let the time come. When the time comes it is going to be overwhelming. It is going to be hope. The 1993 hopes that were dashed will be revived and actualized in 2003.”

Best candidate for President

Governor Bello emphasized that the best candidate should emerge as the winner of the next presidential election, no matter where he or she comes from or the religion the person practices.

“I think Nigeria is at that point now of seeking the best from anywhere in this country, irrespective of where he comes from. Thereafter, you balance and you remain in position to reflect equity, fairness and justice. That is my position,” he said.

South-East Presidency

Asked how he intends to convince the South East who are clamouring to produce the next President to support him, the Kogi Governor said: “Like I said, when the time comes, and when God gives us the grace, and we’ll get there by the grace of God. Surely, I am an advocate of who can serve this country the best.

“Currently, in my administration in Kogi State. I have a south easterner serving my state, specifically, my DG research and development, who doubles as my speechwriter, Barrister Moses Okezie, from Anambra state serving in the State.

“I think where you come from should not matter in your service to this nation. The religion you practice should not matter. The creed you belong to, the class you belong to, should not matter. What should matter most is the content that is contained in you, your stuff. What do you have to offer this country, to secure this country, lives and livelihood; to unite this country to make sure that Nigerians are respected not only at home, but also abroad.

“Our green passport should be number one, should be respected across the world, who is going to enhance that? We have demonstrated that in Kogi state, where we united ourselves, any Kogi citizen anywhere in the country today is proud to be a citizen of Kogi state. Anywhere a citizen of Kogi state is today, we are proud and hold your heads high, that you are from Kogi state. That is what we should duplicate across the country, and not where you come from.”


Zainab Sa’id