The people of the South East geo-political zone have given a nod to the aspiration of the governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, to become the next president of Nigeria following a series of consultative and town hall meetings held between the Bello Ambassadors Network (BAN) – the main political group championing the actualization of the youthful presidency through Bello – and several groups and stakeholders in Enugu, Anambra, Abia, Imo and Ebonyi states.
As its first port of call in the region, BAN national stakeholders in the company of the Ebonyi state executives of the group visited former and current House of Representative Members, Council Chairmen, traditional rulers, and academic heads in the state at the kick-off of her tour.
Among those visited in Ebonyi include a former House of Representatives Member representing Ezza South Ikwor Federal Constituency, Rt. Hon. Eleme Francis; former Attorney General of the state and Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Barr. Augustine Nwankwegu; His Royal Highness, A. Eze Abata of Ezza South who is the youngest traditional ruler in the state.
Other critical stakeholders visited include Prof. B.C Ibekwe who described governor Bello as a “dynamic” and “energetic” governor who falls between the “age bracket” suitable for leading contemporary Nigeria and Professor BAF Ngwu who said the governor is brave and young, urging that he should be given the chance to fix Nigeria. The academic don added that he is available for any movement in support of the young leader.
A former local government chairman of Ezza South, Chief Joseph Egede assured the group that he would mobilize the people of Ezza which are said to be the largest clan in Ebonyi state, in support of governor Bello’s presidential ambition. According to him, he has been an ardent follower of the governor and that he is sure of victory, adding that he is not known for loss.
Meanwhile, while addressing the group, the former Attorney General of the state and Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Hon. Nwankwegu noted that every genuine member of the All Progressive Congress (APC) should support the candidature of the Kogi State governor and that there is no single reason to deny him the party’s ticket.
The team also met students and youth groups, 2 other local government Chairmen, and other members of the national assembly who openly declared their support for the governor and assured BAN of mobilizing votes in the APC Congress and general election.
As part of its southeast consultative tour, BAN national stakeholders stormed Anambra, the Light of the Nation state, in the early hours of Thursday with a visit to His Royal Majesty, Igwe Peter Nwokike Anugwu – Igwe ka Igwe Mbaukwu in the company of the Anambra State team of the organization.
The ambassadors proceeded to meet with the Vice President of Ohaneze Social Cultural group Worldwide, Chief Damian Okeke-Ogene at Nanka his country residence where he informed the group that he doesn’t think it’s a better time to still vote aged people as the leaders of the nation.
The group also met with the Anambra State Chairman of the All Progressive Congress, Hon. Basil Ejidike, Professor Paul Orajaka who is a former Vice-Chancellor of the Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, His Royal Majesty Obi Gibson Nwosu – Eze Uzu II of Awka kingdom – amongst several other traditional rulers, opinion leaders, businessmen and women as well as student and youth groups in the state.
BAN also paid individual visits to the Enugu State APC Chairman, Hon. Ugochukwu Agballah, several former House Members, academic dons, known traditional leaders, party leaders, and former local government Chairmen across the state.
The group on Friday had a Breakfast Meeting with selected stakeholders and representatives of different groups in the South East at the Conference Hall of Geneva Hotel, Awka. It also held a South East Town Hall Meeting where it was discussed and agreed among the stakeholders across the 5 states in the east that it is the time for the youth to take over the leadership of Nigeria through Yahaya Bello.
Discussions were also held with Stakeholders in Abia and Imo states. The team visited high-profiled traditional and political leaders in both states as well as critical youth leaders and professional bodies in the states who all resolved to throw weight behind governor Bello agreeing to the notion that only he can run a united Nigeria.
A communique signed by over a thousand Stakeholders including captains of industries, political leaders, respected traditional rulers, youth and students leaders as well as academic dons across the Igbo land containing a resolution to support the candidature of Yahaya Bello because of his courage, detribalized nature, giant strides in security, and youthful energy was issued at the end of the South East congress.
Anthony Edogbo in addressing the different groups and stakeholders visited convincingly pointed out the detribalization nature of governor Bello who appointed a couple of Igbos into his cabinet, his age and modern style of governance, the achievements of the governor in the education sector, security, health, prompt salary payment as well as women and youth inclusiveness. He also harped on the marginalization of the north-central region and the need for the east to work together with the region as people have suffered the same fate.