By Enyichukwu Enemanna
Ahead of the ruling party’s presidential primaries, President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday hosted Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello to talks at the State House in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
Governor Bello while briefing State House Correspondents after the meeting, said he was saddened by the decision of the party to give power to the south, but that he would obey any decision of President Buhari regarding the party’s candidate
Bello claimed he would obey the President if he is asked to step down from the presidential race, even as he reaffirmed that the President did not ask any one of the presidential aspirants to step down.
The governor had warned that any plan to exclude him from the ballot at the primary election would be a recipe for crisis in the party.
“I respect President Muhammadu Buhari, who is the leader of our party, and I respect the APC. If the president asks me to step down, I will do; only Mr President can ask me to step down.
“Mr president did not ask anyone to step down; he only said the delegates should decide who becomes the flag bearer of our party, and he did not say anyone should be excluded,” he said.
Yahaya Bello, 46 is one of the aspirants jostling to succeed President Buhari in office in 2023.
The party has been set on collision course over a suitable candidate to square it out with other political parties at the polls next year, including the PDP that has since elected former Vice President Atiku Abubakar as its presidential candidate.
While northern governors elected on the platform of APC have insisted that power returns to south in 2023 in the spirit of fairness, equity and justice, the National Chairman of APC, Sen. Abdullahi Adamu is said to be looking towards the north with the candidacy of Senate President Ahmad Lawan as Buhari’s successor.
Earlier today, the northern governors of APC submitted the names of five aspirants to the President to make a choice on who will likely emerge the party’s consensus candidate.
The names submitted include, national leader of APC, Bola Tinubu, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Ekiti State Governor, John Kayode Fayemi, Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi and Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi.
Bello was conspicuously missing on the list, as well as all other northern presidential aspirants.
Yesterday, he was said to have angrily left the venue of northern governors’ meeting where deliberations were held on who will fly the party’s flag next year.