Presidential aspirant and Kogi State governor, Yahaya Bello, declared yesterday that he would not tolerate buck- passing but ensure governors take responsibility for security in their states when he becomes the President of Nigeria in 2023.
Bello who stated this while answering questions from journalists at the ongoing 2nd Annual GYB Seminar for Political and Crime Correspondents and Editors in Abuja, said he would not play politics with the security challenges in the country which, according to him, is the result of the failure of past administrations.
Moving in defence of President Muhammadu Buhari, the governor noted that there is no way the president can be in every state of the federation ensuring security of lives and property when there are chief executives in place in the states.
He, however, promised that states would be empowered to rise to the challenges.
He said, “I refused to politicise insecurity. Buhari is a man who loves truth and reality. I will let you know that Mr. President loves this country. This insecurity is not a thing of Mr. President even though we shouldn’t pass buck because that is why we came on board. It is a successive failure of various administrations.
“Let me remind us once again that certain military and police hardware were non-existent or were last purchased in the administration of former President Shehu Shagari. After the bomb blast incident in Ikeja cantonment, did Nigerians ask whether the arms and ammunition that detonated and killed some people were ever replaced since then?
“After the various decays, the foundation was shaky and the President spent a lot of money to buy equipments. The President will not sit in the Villa and hold AK-47 to come and secure my schools and roads.
“Some of these crimes that we see today is more than what we see on the surface. I will never come out here and point out the flaws. Whatever I observe, in terms of loopholes and lapses, it is between myself and the President to let him know.
“I will never be that governor who will come out and tell that the President did not secure my schools and roads. That is why as the Chief Security Officer of Kogi, I ensure that I brought the rate of crime from the zenith down to the floor and the President is assisting me to succeed in that area.
“I am sincere about fighting crimes and criminality. If all of us as Chief Executives are doing what we are supposed to do, Mr. President’s job would have been easier.
“But if I become the President, I will ensure that every Chief Executive of the various federating units sit up and do their jobs. I will not tolerate any lackadaisical attitude or passing of buck to the center. I will ensure that various federating units are strengthened.
“Majority of some of these crimes are politically motivated, especially the recent ones we are witnessing. However, the issue of security can never be brought out to the public so you would not expose your country to danger.”
Governor expressed confidence that he would emerge as the All Progressives Congress (APC) consensus candidate for the 2023 general election because he is the man to beat.
The governor, who stressed that APC is the party to beat in 2023, urged Nigerians to jettison the idea of where a candidate comes from and rather focus on the capacity of the person to deliver on the job.
He added that the national chairman of APC, Sen Abdullahi Adamu, was picked for the position because of his vast political experience and ability to stabilise the party ahead of the 2023.
The presidential hopeful also dismissed insinuations that former minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, is his running mate, saying he has not discussed the issue of vice presidency.
He further noted that the choice of vice president would be left to his party to choose.
He however said, “If I will be given that opportunity, I will have the first female vice president in 2023.”
Bello continued: “If Consensus is going to be an option, I don’t think APC will go outside Governor Yahaya Bello. And if other considerations are out forward, that is either indirect or direct, Governor Yahaya Bello is the man to beat.
“I am confident and I trust God almighty and I trust the judgement of the leadership and members of my great party, the APC. This time around is the time we must jettision this mundane sentiment of where he comes from.
“It is time to bridge that gap and cement that relationship and dwell more on that which unites us than what divides us.
“I put myself forward as that man that will champion a new Nigeria where all that sentiment does not matter any longer. I don’t think we should continue to dwell on that which divides us, which is the zone we come from or the religion we practice.”
On the strategic reason why Adamu emerged APC national chairman, he said, “APC is the party to beat, APC is the party that will be in the next government after President Muhammadu Buhari. APC wants to win all elections, APC is a party that is strategic.
“As a party we must be stable, as a party we must be solid, as a party we need that person or leadership that has historical memory of politics or the evolution of politics and governance in Nigeria.
“And as such, we require such an experienced personality, irrespective of where he or she comes from. Forget about what is put out there as whether zoning or no zoning, what is important is who is that man who will be the leader and put the party together and that quality was found in Senator Abdulahi Adamu. And the party will not want anything that is going to disrupt any process that was going to make him emerge.”
He stated that the APC is poised to win the presidency in 2023, adding that the party understands the body language of the nation.
“APC knows the body language of the nation today, APC is aware that the youth and women are clamouring for that person who is detribalised, who is coming to solve the insecurity challenges we are faced with today,” he said.