Amid concerns that the reordering of the election sequence by the National Assembly will affect President Muhammadu Buhari’s chances at the 2019 presidential elections, Kogi State governor, Yahaya Bello, has said that the president will still win by a landslide irrespective of which elections come first.
LEADERSHIP Weekend recalls that the National Assembly Conference Committee on Electoral Act (amendment) bill accepted the reordering of sequence of elections in the country with the presidential election coming last.
The House of Representatives committee had, in its amendments to the 2010 Electoral Act, included section 25(1) into the Act which reordered the sequence of the elections to start from that of the National Assembly, followed by governorship and State Assembly elections before the presidential election as against the earlier sequence rolled out by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) last year which put presidential and National Assembly election first before governorship and state assembly elections.
Speaking to State House correspondents yesterday after observing Jumat prayers at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Bello said only lawmakers who rode on the back of the president would be afraid of losing their seats.
“I so much appreciate this (the reordering of the polls). I think if you observe critically what happened in the last election where Mr. President was elected along with other members of National Assembly; then we called it Buhari ‘Tsunami’, where the good, the bad and the ugly were all put together and elected.
“It is either going to be in their interest that the Buhari Tsunami will return them or everybody will be on his or her own. Let Buhari return and let Nigerians select the good ones from the bad ones to return to the National Assembly.
“Whichever order it comes – these upcoming general elections, I can assure you that Mr. President will win landslide and the good ones will return to the National Assembly,” Bello said.
When asked if lawmakers would be the losers in this proposed timetable, he replied: “They have the choice to make and they have made their choice – that the goodwill of Mr. President should not rub on the bad ones. Surely, the good ones on their own account will return to the National Assembly at the appropriate time.”
He also dismissed insinuations that Nigerians are angry with the administration of President Buhari, pointing out that this category of Nigerians are looters who benefited from the last administration.
“Yes, I followed it keenly and one of the key statements there (Catholic Bishops advice to the president) was that Nigerians are angry. Yes, it is true that Nigerians are angry, but the question is, who are in this category of Nigerians who are angry?
“These categories of angry Nigerians are those who used private jets to carry away Nigeria’s money in dollars out of the country to South Africa. I’m sure you are aware that our money is still locked down there; such money if you bring it into the economy, a lot of youths that are unemployed will surely be employed,” the Kogi governor stated.
…Counsels Kogi, Benue, Taraba Corps Members On Modesty
Meanwhile, Governor Bello has admonished corps members posted to Kogi State from Benue and Taraba states for their orientation camp phase to exhibit high level of decorum and discipline for the peaceful completion of their national assignment..
Bello gave the admonition on Thursday while addressing the 2017 Batch B Stream 2 Taraba and Benue corps members who were hosted at the Asaya National Youth Service orientation camp in Kabba local government area of Kogi State.
The governor explained that one of the core values of the NYSC programme was to ensure unity among Nigerians, saying that the objectives of the scheme can only be accomplished if corps members contribute their quota to making the nation united.
The governor urged the corps members to preach the togetherness, peace and oneness they have learnt in Kogi State to others in their states of primary assignment in order to foster unity and peace among the diverse ethnic groups in the two states
Bello noted for the corps members to be hosted in Kogi State because of the success of his administration in curtailing security challenges, it was quite evident that the governors of Taraba and Benue state believe that Kogi was safe enough for the corps members.
He said, “Kogi is safe because my administration has tackled the causes of insecurity which was ethnic, religious and gender bias.
“On assumption of office, we had a divided state in terms of gender, ethnic and religious differences and we made these differences a taboo and ensured that our core values were competence, character and readiness to serve the people; and the result today is the unity of purpose among the people of Kogi State.
Bello also commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his effort in tackling the security challenges facing the nation, assuring the people that the president would soon find a lasting solution to the herdsmen/farmers’ crisis in the country.
Chief of staff to the state governor, Edward Onoja, who was also at the event, noted that the barriers of ethnic and religious divide have been turned into bridges of connections within the state.
He added that Governor Bello has proved to be a good leader by having people from different tribes in his cabinet.
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