WITH few months to another general elections, Nigerians of all walks of life are constantly asking about who will be in a better position to take over from President Mohammadu Buhari. In most of the discussions, one name that keep featuring is that of the Governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Yahaya Bello. Alhaji Bello emerged through Divine will as the Governor of Kogi State and since his emergence, he has changed the socio-political landscape of Kogi State as a realistic, truthful, and result-oriented Governor.
As such, when the discussion tilts towards who is delivering dividends of democracy among the governors as a consideration for Nigerian President, Bello’s name features prominently.
With the #Endsars protest, the clamour for a youth as President of the country became very strong which has put Bello as the most acceptable among the governors of the country to emerge as President. Alhaji Yahaya Bello was born on June 18, 1975 making him the youngest governor in the country and the only Governor who was born after the protracted Nigerian civil war. The youths of the country see him as one of theirs and are comfortable to have him as their President. His emergence as President too will make him to be the youngest democratically elected President of the country as he will still be in his 40s in 2023. It would be recalled that General Yakubu Gowon was the youngest Nigeria’s Military President as he was 31 when he became Head of State after a military coup d’tat.
Since the birth of the current democracy in 1999, one word that is almost on the lips of every Nigerian is “zoning”. Zoning because the people want all the zones of the country to have a taste of the Presidency.
Nigeria is a country with more than 350 ethnic nationalities and most of them believe that they have equal stake in the country and as such, should also, have a taste of the topmost political office in the country. Due to the fact that some zones are disadvantaged based on population, these zones strongly believe that the only way they can have sense of belonging in the country is through zoning of political offices.
Since 1999, this has been the situation with the Presidency rotating between the North and the South. But, with the 2023 general elections, the zones are becoming specific, with the people of North-Central saying that other zones should concede such to them, not only because they have never produced the President or Vice President of the country but, based on the fact that they have a man who is acceptable by most Nigerians without looking at tribe or religion in Governor Yahaya Bello as Presidential candidate.
If Bello emerges as Nigeria’s President, the people of South-East, South-South, South-West, among other zones will be relaxed. This is because, Bello is from Kogi State, a state which is the gate-way between the North and the South and a state that shares boundaries with almost all the geo-political zones of the country.
Since his assumption of office as Governor, Bello has remained a man of the people, accepted as a detribalised national figure loved by the people of all regions, religions and tribes across the country.
He is also, well educated with a Masters in Business Administration (MBA), among other qualifications in his kitty.
The question that bugs the mind of well-meaning Nigerians is, will the system allow him to be President? Already, based on his rising profile and acceptability the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) has been receiving petitions against the governor.
Also, there has been some obviously paid publicity materials aimed at discrediting Bello but, one of his key followers who simply identified himself as Emeka said, “we understand Nigeria politics. Bello is acceptable to the youths, the women and the old, so, we are waiting, watching as events unfold ahead of 2023.
With Governor Bello, we believe that we will get it right because, he will get people of like minds who believe in a Nigeria where things work to be working with him to reposition the country to take its pride of place in the comity of nations.
Governor Bello of course, is a happily married man and the marriage is blessed with children; he is also, level headed and has listening ears for the people.
Dr. Godwin Okon
Spokesperson, Niger Delta Movement for Good Governance