BY Boluwaji Obahopo LOKOJA
A group under the aegis of North Central Coalition for Leadership ( NCCL) has stated that their call on the Kogi state Governor, Yahaya Bello to contest the forthcoming 2023 presidential election is to correct the imbalance against the North Central Geo-political zone of the Country.
The group who made this known on Monday in a statement signed by its National Coordinator, Mr Williams Charles, noted that the North Central zone which is the unifier of the other Zones has been marginalised in the sharing of the presidential office right from the first republic to the present dispensation.
The statement decried the nonchalant attitudes of other zones to the North Central which has been a mediator of political fury between the Northern and Southern Nigeria, saying the North Central has laid enough eggs that it should be allowed to hatch.
“In the spirit of brotherhood, the other Zones should only queue behind a candidature from the North Central zone. The North Central zone has not tasted the presidency since the existence of Nigeria as a nation in 1960.
According to him, the first Republic (1963 – 1966) produced President Nnamdi Azikweme and Prime Minister – Abubakar Tafawa Balewa (SouthEast/NorthEast) the Second Republic (1979 – 1983 produced President Shehu Shagari and Vice President Alex Ekwueme (NorthWest/SouthEast)
“The Abortive Third Republic was won by M.K.O Abiola and Babagana Kingibe (SouthWest/ NorthEast) and immediately the fourth republic was ushered in 1999, former President Olusegun Obasanjo and Atiku Abubakar (Southwest/North East spent Eight years in office); even as Musa Umar Yar’Adua and Goodluck Jonathan from North West/South-South took over the mantle of leadership.
“After the demised of Musa Yar’adua, Goodluck Jonathan and Namadi Sambo South-South/ North West were made to complete what was left of eight years. President Muhammadu Buhari and Yemi Osinbajo North West/ South West whose second term is ongoing leaving the North Central zone out of the Political equation; as it neither has the president nor the Vice President since 1960.
“Democracy is about Equity, Fairness and Justice. Considering the above statistics there is a great imbalance and zero of inclusiveness amounting to and obvious marginalization of Northcentral.
“On this note, therefore, it is only fair that the Northcentral be given the support of well meaning Nigerians to produce the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria come 2023 At this time that we seem more divided than united, as what we need now is a unifier, a bridge between the old and the young, a daring and audacious Youth.
“Who else should we be looking for if not Governor Yahaya Bello who has demonstrated capacity in tackling security challenges in the state and the country.
“Yahaya Bello as a visionary youth with proven track records of performance, who has refused the temptation to lockdown Kogi state during the first covid-19 lockdown, which has, in turn, the increased investment in Kogi state by 1 Billion Naira ahead of Lagos state.
“Kogi State tertiary institutions are in session, graduating students, while their contemporaries are at home for over a year. It takes a man with courage and doggedness to achieve these feats in the face of crisis militating against economies and governments.
“He has demonstrated the political will to sanitize a civil service that was polarized with ghost workers. it is on record that Yahaya Bello boldly alleged top politicians being behind insecurity in the country.
“He has consistently maintained his position on Covid -19 and criticized the 560 billion nairas earmarked for the purchase of the vaccines. He argued that the amount could be used to build over 40 world-class, state-of-art health centres all around Nigeria that will cater for health needs of the people.”
While galvanising support of Nigerians of all ages, creed, tribes and status to their desire for Yahaya Bello to contest the 2023 presidential election, the group urged the governor to heed the clarion call and declare for the presidency in 2023.