By Chinelo Obogo
All Progressives Congress (APC) legislators from the North West Zone have pledged support for Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State for President in 2023.
Their endorsement was communicated in a communiqué issued after the extraordinary meeting of the forum, which had in attendance, former House of Assembly members of the North West Zone.
It was read by the former Speaker of the Niger House of Assembly, Mr. Ahmed Marafa, in Abuja on Thursday.
The North West legislators also urged the APC Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee to zone the party’s Presidency to the north.
Marafa said that the North West legislators agreed to support their colleagues in the North Central for 2023 Presidency, saying the zone had been deprived of the number one position since Nigeria’s independent in 1960.
Quoting the communique, he said, “We resolved that the State Assembly legislators of the North West zone endorse and state their unalloyed and unshaken support for the aspiration of the Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, who has, against all odds, decided to take the bull by the horn, by aspiring to the Office of the President of Nigeria in 2023.
“The members thank him for leading the clarion call for the Presidency of Nigeria to come to the North Central zone and urge him to have no fear or doubt in his race for the exalted office as members from the North West are solidly behind him.
“The meeting also agreed to call on the leadership of our great party, APC, to zone the presidency to the North because it would have ruled for 10 years at the end of President Buhari’s tenure, while the Southern region has ruled for 14 years.”
The state legislators also passed a vote of confidence on President Muhammadu Buhari for his leadership, urging him not to relent in ensuring that he leaves Nigeria in 2023 a better place.
The forum passed a vote of confidence in the Governor Mai Mala Buni-led APC Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) for its positively aggressive repositioning of the party.
Earlier in his remarks, Speaker of the Kogi State House of Assembly, Prince Matthew Kolawole, galvanised the incumbent and former State lawmakers’ support for Bello’s presidential aspiration.
Kolawole described Bello as a young dynamic and energetic individual with capacity to manage Nigeria diversity, who would also fit into the demand for young president in 2023.
A member of the Sokoto State House of Assembly, Alhaji Maidawa (Sagari Constituency) said that the Sokoto State lawmakers and their supporters are in full support of Bello’s presidential ambition.
Maidawa described Bello’s presidential ambition and the meeting as a new beginning for Nigeria while Aliyu Lawal, representing Kaduna Central, Kaduna House of Assembly, described Bello as a bridge-builder and young promising Nigerian who had the capacity to tackle Nigeria’s problems.
“I believe that not only the North will support Bello’s ambition but the other zones of the country,” Lawal said.
On his part, a member of the Zamafara State House of Assembly, Yusuf Alhassan, said it is logical for the North West, which had at different times, produced the President, to support the North Central in 2023.
Alhassan said this was important for the region to have a sense of belonging in the project Nigeria.
A member of the Zamafara State House of Assembly, Ibrahim Dikko, said that the capacity of Yahaya Bello should not be limited to North Central, as he had the wisdom and capacity to deliver, irrespective of the state he comes from, while a member of Niger State House of Assembly, Yawale Maibeza, said that Nigerian youth believed that endorsing Bello for president was a right decision at the right time.