Kogi State governor and an aspirant for the presidential ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Yahaya Bello, has said that he revolted against his counterparts in the North because they attempted to suppress the voice of the people.
He disclosed this to State House correspondents yesterday after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa.
Bello maintained that the party could only retain power if the rules of engagement were strictly followed.
Responding to a viral video of his storming out of a meeting of the 14 northern governors where they resolved to zone the presidential ticket to the South, Bello said, “Well, some of my colleagues, led by the self-proclaimed leader of them, ganged up to suppress the voice of the people, the voice of over 26 million Nigerians, the voice of the women, the voice of people living with special needs, the voice of the choice of the part. So that’s exactly what I revolted against and I remain the leading candidates into this general election. I decided to leave the meeting where such concoction was ongoing. So that’s exactly what took place.”
Bello, who said he would not mention anybody’s name because of the respect for elders, expressed the confidence that he would win the primaries.
The governor said he was not consulted by his colleagues before they arrived at the decision to support a southern presidential candidate reinstating his opposition to rotation of the presidency.
“Nobody consulted me over the decision that they took and I will rather say that they were railroaded by certain interests who want to be Vice President at all costs. The issue of turn-by-turn presidency, I continue to oppose it because the insecurity that is facing us today does not respect turn-by-turn presidency, every part of this country is faced with insecurity. Every part of this country is wanting prosperity and the seeming or the disunity that we experiencing today in Nigeria, we want unity in this country and that is exactly what I stand for.”
Bello said he would only step down if asked to do so by the President warning however that any other attempt to prevent him from participating at the primaries would be an invitation for trouble in the APC.
Asked about the chances of the ruling party retaining power after the 2023 general elections, the Kogi governor said, “I’m very optimistic that APC will return to power, if we play by the rules of the game.”
Requested to clarify on the rules, he said “Follow all the laws, non-exclusion of anybody who wants to participate and carrying everybody along and ensuring that there’s fairness, equity and justice.”