A group, supportive of the presidential ambition of the Kogi State Governor, the All Nigerians United For Yahaya Bello Organisation (ANYABO), has condemned the call by the 17 governors of Southern Nigeria that the next President of Nigeria must come from the South.
In a Press Release issued at its Abuja National Headquarters on Wednesday and signed by its National Chairman, Saidu Bobboi, and National Coordinator, Mr. Adebayo, ANYABO said all Nigerians have the right to contest the presidency of Nigeria come 2023.
It kicked against what it called the “unnecessary heating up of the polity by governors who should have been busy with solving the myriads of the challenges confronting their states but chose to concentrate on political subterfuge.”
The 17 governors of the Southern Nigeria had met in Lagos on Monday July 5 to deliberate on a wide variety of issues; and one of their resolutions contained in their communiqué after the meeting was that Nigeria’s next president must emerge from the South, considering the fact that a Northerner had been the President since 2015.
This, however, has not gone down well with many politically exposed personalities from other zones of the country.
ANYABO, which boasts of being a pan-Nigerian political mobilisation group with members in all the nooks and crannies irrespective of ethnicity, religion or creed for the presidential ambition of the youngest Governor in the country, Governor Yahaya Adoza Bello of the North Central, said it vehemently opposed such a position.
It described the moves by the Southern governors as an attempt to sabotage democracy “in a bizarre and totally unacceptable manner.”
The Press Release further reads: “It has come to our attention the call by the 17 governors of Southern Nigeria that the next President should be a Southerner. One critical factor these governors failed to realise is that in a democracy, outcomes of elections are fundamentally dynamic and, therefore, cannot be predetermined. If the outcome of an election is predetermined, then the crucial elements of democracy must have been criminally compromised –it ceases to be a democracy. What the governors are suggesting is a coup against democracy and freedom of choice guaranteed by the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended.
“You cannot predetermine the outcome of an election two years prior or disqualify entire sections of the country from exercising their rights to freely participate in an election either as candidates or vote in an election as electorates. That is a coup against democracy and the people of Nigeria and a clear sabotage against democracy in such a bizarre and totally unacceptable manner. It is a provocative gangup against millions of Nigerian voters who will be excluded from exercising their constitutionally guaranteed rights to freely choose their president in a free and fair election but would rather be forced to pick from a limited set of choices whether it pleases them or not. Pre-zoning of public offices in an election is not only strange to our Constitution but essentially antithetical to the fundamental principles of democracy, justice and freedom of choice. No democracy in the world bears such crude anomaly.
“Our position is that all Nigerians from all sections of the country who are constitutionally qualified should be allowed to test their popularity and capacity in the 2023 presidential election. The question is do the governors represent the opinions of the people of their states? The answer is a resounding No! Most of these governors aren’t even popular back home because they have not been able to deliver the dividends of democracy to their constituents.”
ANYABO said it will be mobilising thousands of Southerners to the national headquarters of the All Progressives Congress Abuja headquarters in the next few days to ask the party’s leadership not to succumb to the Southern governors’ attempted blackmail, but ensure a level playing field for all qualified party members interested in running on the party’s platform for the highest office in the land irrespective of their region or religion and to impress it upon the party’s leadership and all Nigerians that the governors did not represent the opinions of the mass of Southerners who are in love with Governor Yahaya Adoza Bello and rooting for him to run for the presidency in 2023.
ANYABO said it has continued to insist and propagate the political gospel of Yahaya Bello as the next best thing to happen to Nigeria come 2023.
The group said it would do everything within the confines of the law to mobilise Nigerians in their millions to vote Yahaya Bello as Nigeria’s next President “because of his outstanding pedigrees as Governor, his incredible capacity, his exemplary personality and his audacious engagement of socioeconomic challenges in his state that has brought peace, security and development to his state.
Newsmen confirm that up till now, Governor Bello is yet to publicly declare his presidential ambition; but many groups, of which ANYABO is a major one, have been mobilising public awareness and support for the youthful Governor, who, ANYABO says, has performed what is akin to governance miracles in Kogi State.