BY: VITALIS UGOH, Calabar
A group known as “The Bridge Movement”(TBM) with its headquarters in Càlabar, Cross River state, has called on the governor of Kogi state, His Excellency, Alhaji Yahaya Bello to run for the 2023 presidential elections.
The call was contained in a communique issued at the end of its emergency meeting of the Directorate of TBM in Çalabar.
The communique which was signedby the Director General, Mr. Courageo Michaels saidthe sole agenda for deliberation was the call by North Central Council of APC on the Governor of Kogi State, His Excellency Alhaji Yahaya Adoza Bello, not to contest for President in 2023.
At the end of critical deliberations, the Directorate of The Bridge Movement (TBM) for Yahaya Bello Presidency 2023 among other things, resolved as “that TBM in strongest terms possible condemns the call by North Central Council of APC on Governor Yahaya Bello not to contest for the Office of President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in 2023. The reason adduced being that based on zoning principle; it is the turn of the South to produce the next President”.
The call obviously “orchestrated and sponsored by certain politicians who are cowed by the intimidating profile of Gov. Yahaya Bello are afraid to test their acceptability and popularity before the electorate, hence such cheap blackmail”.
It went to state “that for the avoidance of doubt, the TBM unequivocally deplores and deprecates the insinuation that based on Region, Governor Bello cannot contest in 2023 for President as President Buhari is also a Northerner”.
The communique noted “this cannot be further from the truth if justice and equity are to be served as all other regions of Nigeria have produced Presidents in this democratic dispensation apart from the South-East and North-Central where Governor Bello hails from. It would only be proper for the two Regions to vie for the seat”.
Accordingly, it said,”there is need to urgently overhaul the security apparatchik and problem solving mechanism of the nation for better results.To effectively tackle recurrent security challenges, a leader with a very strong political will in the mould of Governor Yahaya Bello is needed. A cue can be needed. A cue can be taken from his decision never to negotiate with any criminal elements in the state but to crush them and their sponsors”.
“The result is the peaceful environments in the nooks and crannies of Kogi state as criminals, finding Kogi inhabitable have relocated to neighbouring states”.
Gov. Bello has done well in the area of the states,’ finances especially in the areas of infrastructure, welfare, wages, salaries, pensions and gratuity adding “it can be argued that to achieve that feat, the Governor received bailouts from the Federal Government. Yes he did, but so also did all other governors. Governor Bello inherited the highest backlog of salary and pension arrears in the whole nation but today, he pays as at when due”.
When given the opportunity, to lead the country such feats will be replicated in every aspect of our dear Nation.TBM is convinced that Governor Yahaya Bello is the Bridge to unify Nigeria. Based on his antecedents and successes recorded in Kogi State, he has been able to prove his mettle as an astute administrator who has welded all ethnic nationalities, religions and other interest groups into a cohesive and prosperous entity”.
The region of origin of Governor Yahaya Bello cannot and should not be used as a ploy to muscle him out of the 2023 Presidential race.
TBM is convincedthat this rather cements his eligibility based on the premise that the North-Central has yet to produce a president in this dispensation.Governor Bello stands out as a performer and unifier, and his candidacy is very appealing to majority of Nigerians, irrespective of region, ethnicity, gender and creed, it further added.
“No matter how muddled the waters may get by the whipping of regional and sectional sentiments, the truth remains that His Excellency, Alhaji Yahaya Adoza Bello is the bridge to Nigerias political and socio-economic revival.We shall not be deterred”.