A group, South-South Youths Alliance, has called on the All Progressives Congress to adopt the Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, as its consensus candidate for the 2023 presidential election.
The group said Bello has what it takes to salvage the country from all the challenges plaguing it.
The President General of SOYA, Kiikpoye Karibo, made the call at a media briefing in Port Harcourt, Rivers State capital on Wednesday.
Karibo warned that the party should not give attention to ethnic or religious sentiments, but push for a candidate that has the experience and the will to deliver democratic dividends to the citizenry.
He explained that among one of his outstanding records was that Bello engaged over 58 persons who are not from Kogi in his cabinet, saying such action showed that he was detribalized.
The SOYA president further said a person with such records would be accepted by all and urged the ruling APC to give Bello the ticket to become its standard-bearer.
“There is no man that is more APC than Governor Yahaya Bello. There was a merger that formed the emergence of the All Progressives Congress. Almost everybody you see came from different political platforms to join that merger which is why they are members of APC.
Yahaya Bello is the only one that is not a member of any political party prior to the merger. If anyone should be considered whether by consensus or by any other means it should be Yahaya Bello. He is a better candidate.
“It will amount to shooting yourself in the foot if APC fails to give him the flag. They will actually be standing against themselves. At this level I think APC will like to do the right thing by allowing him to be the flag bearer,” he stated.
Karibo said Bello has united Kogi State and made it a major player in the committee of states, noting that his proactive steps have kept his state away from the insecurity ravaging parts of the country.
Meanwhile, some groups of women who are supporters of Bello converged in Ondo State, on Wednesday to demonstrate their support for the candidacy of the Kogi governor.
The groups which comprised women from all walks of life declared that the zoning of the presidency to any part of the country was not acceptable to them. The women also took to the streets of Akure to show their support for their presidential candidate and their rejection of the zoning system.
They chanted various solidarity songs and carried placards with different inscriptions such as ‘Yahaya Bello, the best man for the job’, ‘We’re not interested in zoning, this is one Nigeria’, Yahaya Bello, hero of women inclusion”, among others.
Speaking at the rally, the leader of the South-West Market Movement for Yahaya Bello and National Vice President, Iyaloja of Nigeria, Princess Nike Aroloye, expressed optimism that Bello would clinch the ticket of the APC and would eventually win the presidential election in 2023.
She said, “We already see the ticket with Yahaya Bello. Once he gets it, we are marching straight to Aso Rock. All my market women are ready to support him. We will go everywhere for this cause. He has said we are important. We will give him the reward,” she told pressman during the rally”
Similarly, a Nollywood actress, Rose Odika, said the women were ready to give their support to the Kogi Governor to become the next president, stating that Bello had well in Kogi State as a governor.
“I have said it before, and I will repeat it here. Yahaya Bello is the one we will support. From all he has done for women and for his state in general, he is the one to beat. We will only support those who support us. It has never happened before in the history of Nigeria for a leading presidential candidate to appoint a woman as the Director-General of his campaign.”
In her remarks, the DG of the Yahaya Bello Presidential Campaign Organisation, Hafsat Abiola-Costello, said the dreams of her mother for a better Nigeria for Nigerian women would be actualized with a Yahaya Bello presidency.
“I am so happy that Nigerian women have decided, for once, to take their destinies into their hands by supporting that one governor that has given them so much voice and has made the world to see how women can turn stone into bread in a troubled economy. He will do the same for Nigeria.
“Seeing this huge honest crowd, I am confident that Yahaya Bello’s good deeds, belief in women, and giant strides in a women-filled government, have earned him the trust of Nigerian women. And I assure you, he will never forsake you. He has demonstrated this loudly in Kogi State,” she declared