From Fred Itua, Abuja
In the build up to the 2023 presidential election, the national coordinator, Got Your Back Nigeria, Prof. Chris Nwaokobia, has criticised Nigerian politicians who are canvassing for the position of the President on the basis of ethnic or zonal considerations.
Addressing newsmen in Abuja, Nwaokobia said one of the major factors hindering the development of Nigeria is that Nigerians in the past had elected leaders whose predilection is ethno-religous and ethno-centric, rather than search for a pan Nigerian candidate.
While lamenting that competency and capacity have been relegated to the background, he said Nigerians are more concerned about the superficial than the very serious issues of nationhood.
Speaking further, Nwaokobia described Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello as the only aspirant who has reached out to Nigerians across creed and clan, religious and ethnic divides on the bases of track record showing competency, inclusiveness and capacity, having run a progressive government with a cabinet whose average age is 42 and making Lokoja one of the fastest growing cities in Africa.
“There is clearly one individual who has elected to reach out to Nigerians across creed and clan, across religious and ethnic divides and across social cum societal stratification, that person is the incumbent Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello.
“The others are busy canvassing regional cum zonal demagoguery. Some are outrageously pulling ethnic and zonal strings forgetting that we are where we are because rather than search for a Pan Nigerian candidate we have for too long elected leaders whose predilection is ethnoreligous and ethnocentric.
“We elect leaders based on their geography and seek to etch that pattern on our national canvas, and turn around to accuse them of loyalty to ‘their people’. We preach zoning and rotation of power, and turn around to vilify and accuse the leaders who so emerge of being nepotistic and non-inclusive, who does that. We sow cocoa yam and seek to harvest maize, it doesn’t happen that way. That is why Governor Yahaya Bello is building blocks and bridges of brotherhood and national consensus, chosing to emerge as a Pan Nigerian candidate come 2023 than as a zonal choice for the big job, and that is the way to go.
“Some are banking on the fact that because they supported Buhari to become President in 2015 that Buhari must return the favour in 2023. It is more about a favour for a favour for one of the foremost leaders of the Party from the Southwest, and to some others it is ‘turn by turn’, not seriously about addressing the fundamental wrongs with Nigeria. It is about shortcut to power not about the issues that trouble Nigeria. Sad.
“If they are not hiring agents to drum up the ethnic card, they are paying some to call for Zoning and or rotation of power, or they are recruiting liars to defame, malign and misinform, as they cannot seek power fairly and squarely. But the young man from Kogi State maintains that things can be done differently, that politics can be issues based, that competency and capacity can be the linchpin, and that we must build bridges of brotherhood across the nation, that and more stands him out.
“From being one of the most unsafe states in Nigeria some five years ago to being one of the safest states in Nigeria today, the helmsman at the Lugard House in Kogi State, Governor Yahaya Adoza Bello is saying that 2023 must be about competency and capacity. And he is reaching out on the strength of his performance and not on account of creed, clan or zone.
“From running a progressive government with a cabinet whose average age is 42 and making Lokoja one of the fastest growing cities in Africa, Yahaya Adoza Bello is saying that Youth O’Clock is about capacity, inclusiveness and competency. And he is saying that 2023 must be about verifiable information not about deceit, perfidy and falsehood.
“Yahaya Bello runs the most gender sensitive, gender friendly and gender just government in Nigeria. And he is saying that the time to replicate such at the centre is now. He is building and growing ennobling and endearing social capital across the nation whilst the others are seeking shortcuts to the High Office of President,” Nwaokobia said