GOVERNOR Yahaya Bello of Kogi State says Nigerians are asking him to contest for president in the 2023 election.
Bello spoke in response to a question thrown at him by the anchor of Channels TV’s Politics Today programme on Friday regarding the direction of his personal political ambition.
“Nigerians, the youth and women, including very objective elite, are asking me to run for president in 2023.My answer will be in affirmative in a few time from now ,” he said.
He highlighted the need to have a crop of leaders with capacity, who could get the job done and unify the country.
“I think they are seeing something in me, that they are asking me to come and unite and fix this country.”
Earlier in the interview, the governor had lauded his achievements, pointing out how much Kogi State had improved, especially in the area of security.
On restructuring, the 45-year-old politician gave his personal definition of restructuring, saying, “Let’s restructure and allow the younger generation take over the leadership of this country.”
Nigerians on the social media, particularly Twitter, have reacted to Governor Bello’s presidential ambition, with some questioning his performance in Kogi State and others supporting him.
Former Senator representing Kaduna Central Shehu Sani tweeted through his handle @ShehuSani, “Bello, Save yourself from this Ship.”
Another Twitter user Smith Gbenga Lawson via @Smithocracy said, “I am from Kogi State, Channels should please ask Yahaya Bello to point out to reasonable things he has done in Kogi State.”
However, Kamal Mohammed, @Jauro_Kamal, was happy to have Bello as president in 2023.
“Yahaya Bello has done extremely well in Kogi State, far more than all previous governors combined together. He will be president not because of any sycophancy, but for his deliberately thought-out positive policies, to reunite this nation, provide security and development.”
Bello and Covid-19
Bello is well-known for spreading misleading information about Covid-19. The governor, in a widely circulating video seen by The ICIR, discouraged supporters present in the gathering from taking vaccines.
The governor, who did not provide any evidence to back up the claim made against COVID-19 vaccine, said: “They want to use the (COVID-19) vaccines to introduce the disease that will kill you and us. God forbid!”
He questioned why COVID-19 vaccines were being produced in less than one year. “There is no vaccine yet for HIV, malaria, cancer and for several diseases that are killing us… We should draw our minds back to what happened in Kano during the polio vaccines that crippled and killed our children. We have learned our lessons.”
“If they say they are taking the vaccines in the public, allow them take their vaccines. Do not say I said you should not take it, but if you want to take it, open your eyes before you take the vaccines,” he said.
Also, Bello, in a Channel’s TV programme last December, questioned the need for Nigeria to procure COVID-19 vaccines.
He also said that no one in Kogi State had tested positive to COVID-19 and that the virus did not exist in the state.
In May 2019, State Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Onu Edoka had accused Bello of owing workers eight to 39 months’ salaries.