Yahaya Bello
Yahaya Bello

Group feels APC missed a trick not voting Yahaya Bello as party’s flagbearer

NEWS DIGEST – The Yahaya Bello Youths Coalition said on Friday that Mr Bello’s aspiration to succeed President Buhari was a silver lining in the country’s unceasing troubles and it was a shame that delegates had opted against voting him as the party’s candidate for the 2023 general elections.

Mr Bello, who currently serves as the Governor of Kogi state, was one of four major candidates who refused to step down at the APC convention two weeks ago but chose to contest the APC presidential ticket with eventual winner, Mr Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

Mr Tinubu, the party’s national chairman, would secure 955 votes more than his closest competitor, Rotimi Amaechi in a landslide victory, and 1,224 votes more than Yahaya Bello.

Despite the loss, the Yahaya Bello Youths Coalition believes that Mr Bello did enough to win the hearts of many, especially Nigerian youths, at the convention and could be noted to have “won the presidential convention.”

The group lauds Mr Bello for choosing to contest the primaries despite the number of heavyweights that went into the ring with him.

“At a time our dear nation is bedevilled with multifarious security threats and other developmental challenges, Governor Yahaya Bello’s aspiration to succeed Buhari was a silver lining,” said Comrade Shuaibu Olowo at a press conference in Abuja.

At the convention on June 7, Gov. Bello conveyed himself as a youth who would restore religious tolerance, revive ethnic unity and tackle security using the templates he installed in Kogi state to arrest insecurity.

Com. Shuaibu said Mr Bello’s “sterling achievements” as Kogi governor, for what is now seven years, had helped him raise the bar for governance, in an unprecedented manner, across Nigeria.

“The aftermath of the recent APC presidential convention has denied Nigerians the opportunity of having in the saddle, post-2023, a messiah that will proffer solutions to the myriad of woes bedevilling the country,” he said.

“Nevertheless, we are cocksure that the days ahead are bright for Governor Yahaya Bello. Sooner than later the country will call upon him to come rescue it from the shackles of backwardness and underdevelopment,” he added.

Despite the loss, the group concedes that the result of the convention was a true reflection of the votes of the delegates and praises President Buhari for making true to his promises to be neutral and conduct a fair convention.

“As such, we make bold to say that the outcome of the convention, which saw the National Leader of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, emerged as the ruling party’s presidential candidate, is one that was popular among delegates to the convention,” Com. Shuaibu said.

Com. Shuaibu has also asked the President to let Gov. Bello chair the youth and women sub-committee of the Tinubu Presidential Campaign. According to the group,  the party has its work cut out to retain power in the 2023 general elections and would need someone in the mould of Gov. Bello, who is popular with the Nigerian youths.

“No any other APC member can help mobilize Nigerian youths and women massively for Tinubu than the youthful Kogi Governor,” the group said.