By Dirisu Yakubu

Ahead of the 2023 general elections, the Middle-Belt Bishops Council, an interdenominational coalition of clergymen have called on international businessman cum entrepreneur, Moses Ayom to declare interest in the Presidential race, saying the people of the region have been marginalised for too long.

The Bishops, gathered in their numbers, stated this at the Abuja home of the businessman, Tuesday, while on a courtesy visit to the founder, Heritage Africa.

Ayom who holds the traditional title of Dan Tiv, and hails from Vandeikya local government area of Benue state, is a member of the All Progressives Congress, APC.

Led by Bishop David Usman, the spiritual servants said they embarked on the mission as Nigeria “is once again undergoing another round of a delicate political transition which if not properly managed, will spell doom for all of us.”

Addressing the host, the Bishops said, “After extensive prayers and a careful sifting of the galaxy of stars who have distinguished themselves in various fields, it is our considered conclusion that you (Ayom) are our best option and you tick all the boxes and possess all it takes to provide credible leadership to our great country Nigeria.

“We have followed your trajectory in life rising from a very humble background in Ihugh, in Vandeikya, Benue state to the world renowned industrialist and global entrepreneur that you are today. Like the biblical leader Moses, we have observed your tireless energy, your compassion, your philanthropy, your honesty, your expansive vision and your detribalized passion for Nigeria. Like Moses in the Bible, we perceive the voice of God beckoning on you from the burning bush of service to answer the clarion call by throwing in your hat into the ring of the contest for the seat of President come 2023 by the grace of God.

According to them, “Nigeria is blessed with abundant human resources with very capable hands spread all over the country including the middle belt. We in the Middle-Belt are tired of being mere passengers and on lookers in this vehicle called Nigeria. The impression is being created that political power at the highest echelon is a ping pong game between the far North and the South while the Middle-Belt is a mere net to be used in scoring points.

“We as Spiritual fathers and watchers in the Middle-Belt have therefore decided it is time for us to also stake our claims in this project called Nigeria. Now is the time to be assured that we are equal stakeholders and not second or third rate citizens in Nigeria. Nigeria has the opportunity to correct the injustices meted out on the people of the Middle-Belt. Now is the time to make us feel integral in the affairs of our fatherland.

“In you, we have seen an embodiment of hope for the ordinary Nigerian child that with hard work and determination, there are no borders too wide to conquer. Your success in your personal endeavours is what we want to see replicated in the affairs of our country. Suffice us to note that what we need now is a fresh and competent voice and not one of the sweet talking politicians who have failed us over the years.

“It is on the basis of this sir that we have resolved to call on you to run for the Presidency of Nigeria in 2023. Your acceptance of this divinely inspired call will assuage the ill feelings in the country and heal the unnecessary rifts currently bedevilling our country. We urge you to take this call seriously and immediately commence the processes of nationwide consultations to make this dream a reality,” they added.

An obviously elated Ayom, while thanking the clergymen for the visit, said he never knew any of them from Adam, adding that he would think over the demand within the shortest possible time.

He said: “I wish to express my profound appreciation for the thoughtful and touching words I heard from you today. I am extremely humbled by your submissions.

“I thought this visit was for us to rub minds as brothers and chart a cause for our collective future in the Nigerian project as you call it. I never knew it came with the added burden of this huge demand on my shoulders.

“I share your sentiments on the fate of the people of the Middle-Belt in Nigeria. I am a firm believer in justice, equity and fair play. What is good for the goose should be good for the gander. The Middle-Belt should never be anyone’s political cannon folder. We have a right to the dividends of citizenship like every other group in Nigeria. We cannot remain second class citizens.

“While I appreciate the confidence you have expressed in me, I cannot provide the answer you require right now. You all know that the Presidency of Nigeria cannot be realized by one component part alone. It requires a broad-based consensus of Nigerians working together for the common good. I will therefore seek the face of God and also consult leaders nationwide before coming to a decision. I want to however assure you all that whatever the outcome of the consultations, I am prepared to give my utmost for the progress of Nigeria.”

Disclaimer

Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.