Yahaya Bello, the governor of Kogi State, has refuted claims that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has a zoning agreement in place ahead of the presidential election in 2023.
There have been increasing demands for the APC to allocate the presidential ticket for 2023 to Nigeria’s southern region.
Kano State Governor Abdullahi Ganduje recently stated that the country’s southern zone should be authorized to produce the country’s next president in 2023.
The governor joined Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna and other influential northern leaders in making similar statements in recent days.
Yahaya Bello told reporters in Abuja over the weekend that everyone from any region was eligible to run for president in 2023 because the APC had no zoning system.
He said: “There is nothing like zoning in our party. In 2015, there was no zoning; many aspirants, including former governor Rochas Okorocha contested.
“In 2019, there was no zoning; people in APC were not courageous enough to contest with President Muhammadu Buhari.”
“Asked if he is interested in the 2023 presidency, Bello said: “If it’s the will of God for me to become president in this country at the right time, I will be.”
The Kogi governor further added that he would defeat any candidate he decides to contest against for the 2023 presidency with a record-breaking vote.
“I will record a vote that has never been recorded in Nigeria by the grace of God. But that’s not the issue right now; the issue is there must be Nigeria before we talk of 2023,” the governor added.