APC Stakeholders in the North Central Zone, says the 2023 presidential ambition of Gov. Yahaya Bello of Kogi will not be jettisoned for the party’s chairmanship position.
The group said Bello’s ambition to become Nigeria’s next president would not be negotiated even if the zone produced the National Chairman of the APC in its forthcoming convention.
According to them, even if the party’s chairmanship is zoned to Okene Local Government, Yahaya Bello will contest and we will ensure victory for him by God’s grace.
The APC stakeholders in the north central zone made this known on Saturday while reacting to a statement purportedly issued by another group, Stakeholders in Nasarawa State Council of the APC, that appealed to Bello to sacrifice his presidential ambition for the rumoured national chairmanship position awaiting the zone.
In a statement signed by the Director-General, North Central Coalition for Leadership, Mr Williams Oluwatoyin, they said the purported appeal for Bello to relinquish his ambition “belittles the zone.”
They made this position known on the sideline of official presentation of Staff of Office to newly approved, graded and upgraded traditional rulers in Kogi by Bello at the Muhammadu Buhari Civic Centre, in Lokoja.
According to the APC chieftains, Bello holds the overwhelming mandate of the North Central and Nigerians as a whole to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari.
“A Bello presidency can’t be sacrificed on the altar of ‘cash and carry politics,’” they maintained, while wondering what kind of zone will be satisfied more with producing a chairman than producing a president.
” The said statement reportedly made by the Chairman of the Council, Kassim Muhammed-Kassim in Yola, claimed that the group endorsed Senator Abdullahi Adamu for the position of APC national chairman.
“Without mincing words, we are the authentic APC Stakeholders in the north central and there is no other apart from us. We wonder what kind of zone will be satisfied more with producing a chairman than producing a president.
“We, the authentic stakeholders in APC north central want to state categorically that we are in full support of Yahaya Bello’s presidential ambition and we regard the purported appeal for him to back out from the race as standing logic on its head.
“By saying this, we do not by any means, infer that anybody should not vie for the chairmanship position in the north central. What has come to stay, through popular demand, is that Bello will contest the presidency, notwithstanding where the party’s chairmanship position is zoned to.
“It is obvious that these unknown individuals who brand themselves as stakeholders are singing the tune of their pay masters but doing this at the expense of the wish and yearnings of the people is undemocratic.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the north central has produced the national chairman of the then ruling party, the Peoples Democratic Party, not less than five times. What has this brought to our zone?
“Those who had occupied this chairmanship position include: 1998-1999: Chief Solomon Lar (PDP National Chairman from Plateau State); 1999-2001: Chief Banarbas Gemade (PDP, Benue ); 2001-2005: Chief Audu Ogbe, PDP National Chairman from Benue ); 2005-2008: Col. Ahmadu Ali (PDP National Chairman from Kogi ) and 2011-2012: Alh Kawu Baraje (from Kwara ).
“What has these chairmanship positions brought to our zone if dividends of democracy is our interest?
“Gov. Bello has demonstrated capacity, excellence and unequalled competence in governance and he holds the overwhelming mandate of the north central and Nigerians as a whole to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari.
”Bello’s presidency can’t be sacrificed on the altar of cash and carry politics ,’ they said.