Thousands of Nigerians from all walks of life stormed the Eagle Square at the nation’s capital to witness the official acceptance of Governor Yahaya Bello to vie for the 2023 Presidency.
The venue of the declaration was filled to the brim while an almost equal crowd was seen outside the venue, with many support groups clad in different distinct attires, chanting solidarity songs.
The last few months have witnessed calls by different youth and women groups across Nigeria on the Kogi State Governor to run for the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The tone of the event was set by remarks from the National Coordinator of Hope 2023, Yahaya Bello Campaign Organization, Sen. Jonathan Zwingina and
Director-General of the Hope 2023 Yahaya Bello Presidential Campaign Organisation, Hafsat Abiola, who both charged Nigerians to see Hope 2023 as an avenue to rebuild a challenged nation.
Zwingina said he found in Yahaya Bello, a Nigerian who was determined to fix the nation.
“We have a man in our hands who has all it takes to make Nigeria a great nation. That man is Yahaya Bello. In 1993, we hoped for a great nation. But that Hope was truncated. Today, we have another hope. That Hope will give us prosperity as a nation,” he said.
In her remarks, Hafsat Abiola told the mammoth crowd that the time for renaissance was now.
“To the youth and women of Nigeria, congratulations. This is your product, own it,” she said amidst cheers.
The daughter of the winner of the June 12, 1993 Presidential election said Nigerians were poor while Nigeria was not poor.
She charged the people to elect a leader who could tap into the potentials of the nation to impact on the people.
“The journey to a new Nigeria has started and we will go all the way to ensure Yahaya Bello becomes the President of Nigeria. We have seen in him, a cosmopolitan leader who will bring Nigeria together and heal the wounds of the past,” she noted.
The Deputy Governor of the State, Chief David Onoja, said the Kogi State Governor had protected the political interest of the Kogi women without any special legislation, assuring the Nigerian women of the readiness of Yahaya Bello to ensure women inclusion.
While declaring his intention to run, Governor Bello reiterated that he had demonstrated capacity to lead Nigeria in his present assignment as the Governor of Kogi State, noting that, for him, all that mattered was Nigeria and the wellbeing of citizens.
He traced his persecution in some sections of the media to his refusal to have godfathers.
He said, “I do not deny that false and evil reports against us have often filled the press but all of us know why. He who pays the piper dictates the tune, and those who control the media control their narratives. It is well known that we offended powerful vested interests on our way to power in Kogi State.
“Moreover, since we took office, we have committed the unpardonable political sin in Nigeria, that is, refusal to have godfathers and kowtow to them. Their anger has burned furiously against us and sadly they have often misled the media about us. As a result, we have had to work extra hard to receive fair comment, not to talk of accolades or credit for our many achievements.”