I remain in presidential race, says Yahaya Bello after meeting Buhari
Yahaya Bello, governor of Kogi, says any attempt to exclude him from participating in the presidential primary of the All Progressives Congress (APC) is “recipe for bigger trouble”.
He said this on Tuesday after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari.
Earlier on Tuesday, Simon Lalong, governor of Plateau, had said the APC governors had recommended five “frontline” aspirants — all from the south — to contest the primary.
But speaking with state house correspondents, Bello said he will resist any attempt to exclude him from contesting.
“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, 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,” he said.
“However, I don’t think it is a decision of the party. It is a decision of a 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 voices must be heard.
“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.”
According to Bello, his meeting with Buhari was to explain why he excluded himself from the meeting involving northern APC governors and the president.
The northern APC governors, after the meeting with Buhari, had insisted on power shift to the south.
“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,” he said.
“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.”