Representatives of the people of Kogi State, North Central Nigeria, have called on Governor Yahaya Bello to contest the 2023 Presidential election.
In the past few weeks, youth and women groups across Nigeria have been calling on the youthful Governor to enter the Presidential ring ahead of the 2023 general elections.
The Assembly members, in a motion moved on behalf of all the Members by the Majority Leader of the House, Hon. Hassan Abdullahi, predicated their call upon the sterling performance of the Governor since he assumed office in 2016. He is currently into his second term in office.
According to the assembly members in a unanimous resolution on the floor of the House in Lokoja, Wednesday, the Governor has proven capability and capacity to lead the nation.
The resolution reads: “We, the Right Honourable Speaker and Honourable Members of the Kogi State House of Assembly upon due deliberation of proper motion therefore, do hereby unanimously make and pass a Vote of Confidence on His Excellency, Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State.
“That this Vote of Confidence is founded upon irrefutable and irreducible incidents of Governor Yahaya Bello’s leadership as the 4th Executive Governor of Kogi State, for a reference period spanning 27th January, 2016 till date, during which he has demonstrated uncommon Courage, Capacity and Competence at his duty post, even in the face of the most daunting odds.”
In view of the security situation of the country, the Assembly members hailed the Governor for fighting against crimes and criminality in the state.
“Yahaya Bello, has been exceptional in security, protection of lives and properties across our joint and several constituencies – a key performance indicator, if not the most crucial, for leadership at all levels in Nigeria today.
“Under his watch, Kogi State has been transformed from the kidnap capital of Nigeria outside the embattled North East, into a polity where abduction of humans for ransom, along with other violent crimes like armed robbery and the formerly ubiquitous herdsmen scourge, have become mere opportunistic aberrations.
“That this, at various times, culminated in Kogi State ranking as the second most peaceful state in the federation and the most peaceful in the North.
“In the same vein, Kogi has been rated the State with the second lowest crime rate in the country under Yahaya Bello’s watchful leadership”.
Also, the Assembly members hailed the Governor’s economic policies and programs, which they said has culminated in improving the standards of living of the people. They also commended him for the life-touching projects he has executed across the state.
It further reads: “Yahaya Bello, by his creative governance style has somehow engineered a reversal of several negative national development indicators in Kogi State. Examples abound everywhere.
“Kogi State was recognised by the United Nations as far back as 2017 as one of only 4 Nigerian states at the time making remarkable progress in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) whereupon the state was invited to participate in the 72nd UN General Assembly – as personally witnessed by the Rt Honourable Speaker who was the leader of the delegation.
“State was recognised by the Federal Ministry of Health, the National Population Commission and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) as leading in the reduction of under 5 mortality rate in Nigeria even as the country has sadly overtaken India now as the world capital of this malaise.
“Kogi State is recognised by the National Bureau of Statistics (2018), in one of her 2018 Labour Force Statistics as one of only 9 states in Nigeria to reduce unemployment as the rest of the nation sank deeper into it.
“Kogi State has remained a consistent leader over the years in national rankings for Probity in handling public finances, including the 100% scored last month in the 2019 States Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability (SFTAS), which entitled Kogi State to over $20m in World Bank grants, among others”.
The Kogi State House of Assembly also hailed the Governor for unifying the state and also putting the state on the map of national reckoning.
Yahaya Bello, is the most unifying leader Kogi State has ever. He views the vast diversity of Kogi State as a strength, using it to unify the people instead of a weapon to weaken and divide. Every part of the state has a strong and proportionate representation and say in governance.
“Appointments into Government at both state and federal levels as well as appointments into offices in the civil service of the state reflect conscious efforts to include all parts, tribes, religions and even classes in the state in a manner that does justice to merit and equity. The allocation of projects and patronage by government in general are shared among the three Senatorial Districts in an equitable manner that was inconceivable before his administration. In particular, the top three Executive positions in government, to wit, the Governor, Deputy Governor and Secretary to the State Government reflect the 3 Senatorial Districts and major language groupings of the state.
“It was also made a deliberate policy of his government to ensure that every local government area produced a Permanent Secretary at the top of the civil service as it is today”.
They applauded the fact that the Governor made it a deliberate policy to enhance youth and women inclusiveness, a situation that has situated Kogi in the hearts of Nigerians. The position of the Governor on Covid-19, which has received confirmation from global medical authorities, was also hailed by the Assembly men.
The Assembly Members were impressed with the developmental strides of the Governor, which covers basically all the sectors of the economy. Particular mention was made of the Ankpa Township Road, Confluence Rice Mill, Confluence University of Science and Technology, the 32km Ibana Junction/Ikeje/Ogugu/Ette road in Olamaboro LG and the humongous Project Light Up Kogi East (PLUKE) spread across the 9 LGAs in the Eastern Senatorial District of the State as well as a radical revolution in the health sector.
The Kogi State House of Assembly then passed a vote of confidence on the Governor and endorsed him to become the President of Nigeria come 2023.
“That this Kogi State House of Assembly further makes a Call To National Service to His Excellency, Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State and we hereby impress it upon him to run for the Office of the President or Vice President of Nigeria in 2023 – after his current assignment in Kogi State.
“That this solemn Call is first and foremost premised upon and born of our belief that subject, Yahaya Bello, is a fit and proper person, with the right mix of youth, experience and track record to answer same firmly and decisively in 2023 and beyond.
“That we make this Call aware that only the North Central and the South East Geopolitical Zones have not occupied the Offices of President and Vice President of Nigeria since the advent of the 4th Republic in 1999.
“That we must, on behalf of our people, register our pain and frustration with the attitude of some of our compatriots who persist in treating the North Central Geopolitical Zone, and in particular descendants of the ancient Kwararafa Kingdom which stretches all the way from today’s States of Kwara through Kogi, Niger, Benue, Plateau to even Taraba as third tier citizens and mere adjuncts of the ‘North’, utterly and totally disentitled in their own rights from the two top leadership positions in this country, under any democratic sharing or zoning formula.
“That this unfortunate attitude was again exemplified within the last 2 weeks by major leaders of our Party the APC who, in separate interviews with the press, propounded a two-way split of the Presidency between a hegemonic ‘North and South’ based on an alleged ‘Zoning Formula’ which has suffered so much sea change as to be unrecognisable in any current iteration.
“That we demand, in the interest of Equity and Justice, that in the 2023 General Elections both the Office of President and Vice President of Nigeria must be ceded to the North Central and South East Geopolitical Zones by the rest to peacefully arbitrate or contest for”.
Speaking to newsmen after the plenary, the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Matthew Kolawole said the Assembly will continue to enlighten Nigerians about the advantages of having brave, young and intelligent President come 2023.
He said: “We have made our case. Nigerians are very reasonable. Kogi is selfless to offer our God-given Governor to Nigeria”.