Kogi State governor, Yahaya Bello, has dumped his ambition to contest the 2023 presidential election on the platform of the rulingAllProgressivesCongress (APC), DailyIndependent hasreliably gathered.
The governor, who has not hidden his desire to succeed PresidentMuhammaduBuhari, recently said Nigerians were askinghimtocontestfortheseat of thepresidencyin2023general elections.
He also said that he believes he has the necessary qualities to perform excellently aspresident, especially in uniting the nation, which, according to him, is seriously divided.
Theyouthsandwomenand all Nigerians, including very objective elite, are asking me to run for president in 2023. And I believe that it is high time that we looked into capacity — who can do the job? Who is going to unify this country? And I think they are seeing something in me that they are asking me to come and unite and fix this country,” he said.
However, speaking with Daily Independent, a serving Commissioner in Kogi State, who is a close ally to the governor, said the governor has toned down his presidential ambition “given a strong feeling that the APC might pick its presidential candidate from the South”.
Healsoaddedthattheresolve by the Southern Governors’ Forum (SGF) that they will work against any political party that picks a presidential flagbearer from the North in 2023 has really caused a major setback to Governor Bello’s ambition, even though he is yet to formally declare.
“Yes, the governor has not given up but he is lying low now. Many youths and other Nigerians are still asking him to run in 2023andmanysolidaritygroups are still springing up every day declaring support for him.
“However, recent developmentsin the polity, especially the resolution by the Southern governors that they won’t support any Northerner has made him to tone down on his ambition. While some people in the APC are calling for the presidential ticket to be thrown open, the majority of party members are calling on the party leadership to zone it to the South, given the fact that President Buhari who is from the North will be completing eight years in 2023.