The Kogi State Governor and Presidential Aspirant under the platform of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Yahaya Bello, has declared that he is still in the race for Nigeria’s top job despite the decision of his counterparts to zone the party’s presidential ticket to the Southern zone of the country.
Speaking to State House correspondents shortly after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House, Abuja, Bello said he was at the Presidential Villa to explain to President Buhari his reason for excusing himself from a meeting of the 14 APC northern governors yesterday, Monday.
Governor Bello, whose visit came barely 24 hours after a group of 13 APC northern governors, led by Simon Lalong of Plateau State, met with President Buhari to affirm their resolution on a southern candidate, lamented that his counterparts did not consult him before settling on the decision to prune the party’s presidential aspirants to five.
He remarked that he belongs to the younger crop of Nigerians and therefore optimistic about his emergence as the All Progressives Congress, APC, flag bearer, if the contest is fair and transparent.
He further declared that it is only President Muhammadu Buhari that can direct him to step down for a consensus candidate, noting that Mr President supports a free and fair contest.
The presidential aspirant therefore, warned that his party may be toeing a perilous path, if he is excluded from the list of aspirants at the party’s convention.
Recall that the northern governors had earlier submitted five names to President Buhari for consideration. The list includes Governors Fayemi Kayode of Ekiti State and Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State; former Lagos State Governor, Bola Tinubu; Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and immediate past Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi.