President Muhammadu Buhari and Gov. Yahaya Bello
By Ismaila Chafe
Gov. Yahaya Bello of Kogi and presidential aspirant of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has met with President Muhammadu Buhari, and disassociated himself from the party’s consensus plan.
The governor, who spoke to State House correspondents after the closed door meeting on Tuesday, said he would be contesting the party’s presidential primary as he remain the candidate to beat in the election.
Bello also stated that he was not part of the decision on the issue of power shift to the South as announced by 13 out of the 14 APC Northern governors, insisting that he remains in the race and cannot be excluded from the ballot for Tuesday’s exercise.
He said: “I am a free citizen and a qualified member of the party. I am contesting.
”I bought the form, was cleared to participate in the primary election and there is no reason for me to be excluded from the ballot. If they do so, then that is a recipe for a bigger trouble for the party.
“However, I don’t think it is a decision of the party. It is a decision of few elites who may decide to use their position to oppress the so called minority.
”’But I want to prove that in this country, I am not in the minority. I belong to the younger generation and Nigerians that are oppressed and are saying that their voice must be heard. ”
According to him, he will win the Tuesday ’s contest overwhelmingly, if the process is free and fair.
“I believe strongly that getting into that arena today, I will win overwhelmingly if the process and normal regulations are followed, I will emerge victorious,” he added.
On power rotation, the governor said he was never consulted by his colleagues, the Northern Governors, before a decision was taken.
“I am a unifier, I have demonstrated that severally in my state and in carrying out various tasks that I was given by the party.
”So, nobody consulted me over the decision that power be shifted to the South and I would say they were enrolled by a certain interest that wants to be the Vice President at all costs.
“And I continue to oppose the issue of ‘turn by turn’ presidency because the insecurity that is facing us today does not respect that.
”Every part of this country is faced with insecurity and wants prosperity and we want unity in this country, which is what I stand for.
“Who should be able to solve that problem is what should occupy our minds now, not rotational presidency,” Bello stressed. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Muhammad Suleiman Tola