Yahaya Bello of Kogi State has on Friday said he is considering running for President in 2023.
He made the comment while speaking on Channels Television’s Politics Today.
“Nigerians, the youth and women, and all Nigerians, including very objective elites are asking me to run for President in 2023,” he said.
“And I believe it is high time that we look into capacity, who can do the job, who is going to unify this country. And I think they are seeing something in me that they are asking me to come and unite and fix this country.
“My answer will be in the affirmative in a few time from now.
“I want to urge each and every one of us that are urging me to come to be patient. It’s a work in progress. And by the grace of God, I am not going to disappoint you when the time comes for me to give a response to that.”
Governor Bello, a member of the ruling All Progressives Congress, spent the bulk of his more than 20-minute interview defending President Muhammadu Buhari’s record, especially on restructuring and insecurity.
He said calls for restructuring Nigeria should not be made in ways that appears to antagonise the President who he said was already reshaping the country through Executive Orders granting autonomy to the judiciary and local governments.
“We got where we are today as a result of maladministration of successive administrations, not just President Muhammadu Buhari,” Governor Bello said.
“I continue to say that he has done greatly. Do we need to do more? Are there other areas to improve upon? Yes, there are several, but it is not a one-man job. It is our collective responsibility.”
Ban on Open Grazing
The Governor said while he does not criticise the decision of 17 southern Governors to ban the open grazing of cattle on Tuesday, there is a need to find solutions that accommodate others.
“I have not banned open grazing in Kogi State because there is no provision for ranching yet,” Governor Bello said.
“Should I send the millions of Fulani that are living their normal lives, that have been living with us peacefully over the years? Should I send them away? Rather, let me devise a way of integrating them by ensuring that the conflict between farmers and herders does not exist.”
He claimed that farmer-herder crisis has been solved in Kogi State “with the cooperation of my traditional rulers, the youths, farmers and even the Fulanis themselves.
“We know that the land is not enough but we can accommodate each other within the limit of what we have. We can’t just send them out.”