By Egena Sunday Ode
Governor of Kogi State, Yahaha Bello, has dismissed calls for rotational presidency, saying it has outlived its usefulness.
Bello who is believed to be showing interest in the 2023 presidential race said competence and capacity should be the yardstick for selecting presidential candidates rather than ethnicity or region which according to him is he whole essence of agitation for rotating the plum position.
He said: “For once, let’s get Nigeria fixed. We have practised a seemingly rotational presidency since 1999 to date. Let us evaluate our successes or achievements from this seeming rotational presidency between then, and now.
“Why don’t we simply go for the best? After all, we copied this democracy from America and some of the developed world. How many of these countries are practising traditional presidency?
“You see, we are where we are today not because we are practising rotational presidency.
“If you want to go by that rotational presidency, then do perfect zoning. Go by perfect rotation. And if you go by rotation and whichever way you come from, I don’t think you should exclude where I come from. That’s number one.
“Number two, let us get a credible, sincere, patriotic, Nigerian to fix it. If you’re flying an aircraft, you don’t ask who is the pilot? If you take the operation in a hospital, you wouldn’t ask which doctor is this, is he from your zone, your tribe, your religion? All you want is the best pilot to fly you safely to your destination. All you want is you want the best doctor to handle you and deliver you safely from the operation.
“I think Nigeria is at that point now of seeking the best from anywhere in this country, irrespective of where he comes from. Thereafter, you balance, you remain in position to reflect equity, fairness and justice. That is my position.”
On how he would convince the South east which is agitating for a chance to produce the next president to support his ambition, the Kogi governor said: “Like I said, when the time comes, and when God give us the grace, and we’ll get there by the grace of God.
“Surely, I am an advocate of who can serve this country, the best. Currently, in my administration in Kogi state, I have a south easterner serving my state, specifically my DG research and development who doubles as my speech writer, Barrister Moses Okezie, from Anambra state serving in the States.
“I think where you come from should not matter in your service to this nation. The religion you practise should not matter. The creed you belong to, the class you belong to, should not matter. What should matter most is the content that is contained in you, your stuff, what do you have to offer this country, to secure this country lives and livelihood, to unite this country to make sure that Nigerians are respected not only our home, but abroad.
“Our green passport should be number one, should be respected across the world, who is going to enhance that?
“We have demonstrated that in Kogi state, where we united ourselves any Kogi citizen anywhere in the country today is proud to be a citizen of Kogi state.
“Any where a citizen of Kogi state is today, we are proud and hold your head high, that you are from Kogi state. That is what we should duplicate across the country, and not where you come from.
“So, I want to believe that when the time comes, Nigerians will see reasons. Of course already, they are calling on me that I should come and run, just a little time I have asked them to relax and let the time comes. When the time comes, is going to be overwhelming. It is going to be a hope. The 1993 hopes that were dashed will be revived and actualized in 2003.”