Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, has said he believes the national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu will support a youthful presidential candidate in 2023.
Although Tinubu has not declared that he will be running for president, the APC chieftain, who marked his 69th birthday on Monday, is rumoured to be nursing an ambition to lead the country in 2023.
Bello, who is currently serving his second tenure in office, became one of Nigeria’s youngest governors at the age of 40 in 2015 and he is believed to be interested in the 2023 presidential race.
When asked in an interview with the BBC Pidgin who will make a better president between him and Tinubu in 2023, the Kogi governor said Tinubu is a kingmaker who knows his limitations and would rather advocate for the younger generation to take over the leadership of the country.
“Our national leader, Tinubu, is a revered statesman, well-respected by all, including me. I know that he is a smart mentor. He has brought up a lot of leaders in this country. He’s a wonderful kingmaker. And I know surely that he wants this country to be on auto-cruise very soon. He knows his qualities and limitations. He knows who will be able to drive this country to a successful future. He will be part of those that will anoint a better and youthful president for this country. I believe in his judgement,” he said.
“What is happening now is so amazing. Nigerian youths, women and Nigerians across boards are calling on me to run for president in 2023. It is something I have been making consultations on. It will interest you to know that not one kobo I have given to anybody to print posters or to do anything. Youths across boards felt it is time for the younger generation to take the seat of a driver to fix Nigeria.
“So, if young Nigerians are asking me to fix this country, they have the right to make such demands. I’m pretty sure if this unity among younger Nigerians continues this way till 2023, nobody aside God almighty will stop the youths from taking over the leadership of this country. By then, I can tell you that the journey of fixing this country has just begun,” Hello added.
In November 2020, Kogi State Commissioner for Information, Kingsley Fanwo, said the governor had been under pressure to run for president in 2023.
One month later, the state House of Assembly endorsed Bello for the country’s highest office.