Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State has reportedly shelved his desire to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023, Naija News reports.
Recall that the governor had claimed that some Nigerians were asking him to contest the 2023 presidential election on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
According to Bello, he posses the necessary qualities to succeed President Buhari and continue with the legacy of the current APC government.
However, speaking with Daily Independent, a serving Commissioner in Kogi State, stated that the governor has dropped his 2023 presidential ambition, even though he is yet to formally declare.
The commissioner added that Bello made the decision “given a strong feeling that the APC might pick its presidential candidate from the South”.
He said: “Yes, the governor has not given up but he is laying low now. Many youths and other Nigerians are still asking him to run in 2023 and many solidarity groups are still springing up every day declaring support for him.
“However, recent developments in the polity, especially the resolution by the Southern governors that they won’t support any Northerner has made him tone down on his ambition. While some people in the APC are calling for the presidential ticket to be thrown open, the majority of party members are calling on the party leadership to zone it to the South, given the fact that President Buhari who is from the North will be completing eight years in 2023.
“So, the governor will formally make his position known soon on whether he will contest the presidency or not but he has not given up, especially with massive support and endorsement he keeps receiving throughout the country.”
Speaking further, the commissioner said the governor is weighing his option of becoming the running mate of the would-be presidential candidate of the APC in 2023.
He added: “I am aware he is leaving his options open for a running mate to the presidential candidate if the ticket is zoned to the South because naturally the vice-presidential candidate will be picked from the North.
“But that is also hinged on many factors. If the presidential candidate is a Muslim, can Nigerians afford to vote for two Muslims on the same ticket?”