Forum of members of State Houses of Assembly in the South-South zone of the country, under the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress, has endorsed the Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, for Presidency in 2023.
The legislators decided to stress the support of the zone separately, in Calabar, a few days after APC legislators from all zones declared their support for the Governor and also passed a vote of confidence in the Chairman of the party’s Caretaker Extra-Ordinary Convention Planning Committee, Governor Mai Mala Buni of Yobe State.
Rising from its extraordinary meeting held in Calabar, capital of Cross River, on Monday, the forum pointed out that it would be the best decision for the leadership of APC to zone the presidency to North Central in the spirit of fairness and justice.
The legislators, elected by the people of Akwa-Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Edo and Rivers States, agreed that the North Central had been marginalised since the nation gained Independence, adding that allowing it to produce the next president would be fair.
The lawmakers commended President Buhari for his purposeful leadership and also eulogised Governor of Cross River State, Ben Ayade for promptly connecting the state to the centre and for being the first in the South-South geopolitical zone.
They passed a vote of confidence in the Buni-led Caretaker Committee, pointing out that it had helped in no small way to grow the party and attract eminent Nigerians into its fold.
A communique issued by the forum read, “That the APC State Assembly Legislators Thank His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Cross River State, Professor (Sir) Ben Ayade for promptly connecting the state to the centre and for, indeed, being the first in the South-South geopolitical zone.
“That the APC State Assembly Legislators of the South-South, who were elected by the people of the six (6) States that make up the Geo-political Zone believe that the best thing for our party as we approach the 2023 general elections is to give room for marginalised zones to produce the next president. Consequently, we appeal to the national leadership of our party, the APC to zone the presidency to North Central for fairness and sense of belonging to prevail.
“We hereby state that we agree to support our colleagues in the North Central to contest for the position of the President of Nigeria in 2023 – which is a position that the zone had hitherto been deprived of since Nigeria became independent in 1960.
“That the APC State Assembly Legislators of the South-South Commended President Muhammadu Buhari (GFCR), for his purposeful leadership and urge him to continue his good works toward turning the country around for good.
“That the APC State Assembly Legislators of the South-South commended the Governor Mai Mala Buni Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee for its hardwork in ensuring the consistent growth of the party, which has attracted thousands of eminent Nigerians into the party.
“That we have painstakingly brainstormed on the political developments in our party, the All Progressives Congress, vis-a-vis the need for Nigeria to chart a course to a more secure and prosperous country and have therefore decided to throw our weight behind the presidential bid of the Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Adoza Bello.
“That we acknowledge that Governor Yahaya Bello has, against all odds, forged ahead in his quest for the Office of the President of Nigeria come 2023, and therefore thank him for his tenacity. We assure him of our solid support.
“The meeting also agreed to call on the leadership of our great party, APC to zone the presidency to the Northern Region of the country.”