BY BODE GBADEBO |
The clamour for Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State to run for Nigeria’s presidential race has intensified as Kogi West Council of Elders called on the governor to sustain his desire to occupy the nation’s top seat come 2023.
The group, which is made up of mostly retired military personnel, was led by the former Military Governor of Old Western State and former Minister of Police Affairs, General David Jemibewon (rtd).
Tthe council recognised Bello’s giant strides in the areas of infrastructure, security, education and human capital development – a feat they said should be replicated at the national level.
The council of elders specifically commended the governor for the establishment of Alape Staple Crops Processing Zone while appealing for speedy completion of the project.
Speaking on behalf of the council, General AB Momoh, marvelled at Governor Bello’s pushing development strides at a time the nation was embroiled and bleeding from all forms of insecurity.
“We are not unaware of your relentless drive to push for safe corridor for Kogi State, not perturbed by escalating insecurity in the country, you continue to push and embark on aggressive people-oriented projects across the state. Your approach in dealing with criminal elements is commendable and we enjoin you to maintain the tempo,” Momoh stressed.
On the clamour from all quarters for Bello to run for the office of the president in 2023, the council welcomed the idea, describing it as heartwarming and a testimony to the leadership imprints of the governor.
“We are witnesses to the many calls from different groups, associations and persons calling on your Excellency to run for the office of president in 2023. This is not a surprise but a welcoming development for us and Kogi people as a whole. This recognition and call for service gladden our hearts and we stand on the position of legitimacy to add our voice that you are eminently qualified to run for the office of the president in this country.
“The North Central zone is the heart of the Nigeria’s political equations, we contribute a lot to the development and progress of our country but never given a shot at the highest office in the land. You have what it takes to lead this country prosperously and we urge you not to betray the people’s calls whatsoever,” they added.
In his response, Governor Bello thanked members of the Council and commended their advisory role which he said has added more values to every decision his administration has made.
He said he will continue to seek their wealth of experience, wisdom and kind advice in ensuring that his administration remained focused in the provisions of critical needs for the people of the state.
Bello, therefore, appealed to the retired Generals to continue to offer advice on ways of combating insecurity in Nigeria, noting that the fight against criminal elements cannot be won by those in position of authority alone.
The governor said he will continue to do his best for the betterment of the people of Kogi State while urging the elders for continuous engagement in discussion that will be of interest to the state.
Other members of the council were Vice Admiral Joseph Ajayi Rtrd, Chief James Awoniyi, Chief Ishaq Ajibola, and secretary of the group, Chief Benjamin Taiwo.