Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State has asked the national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Bola Ahmed Tinubu to drop his purported presidential ambition for younger politicians to take over from President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023.
Tinubu, who is yet to declare for the 2023 presidency played a key role in the formation of the ruling party and victory of President Buhari in 2015, but many believes the body language of the former governor of Lagos state shows he may join the presidential race.
It is also believed in some quarters that there is an agreement within the ruling party that Tinubu would succeed President Buhari in 2023.
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But Governor Bello in an interview with Daily Trust said whatever agreeement Tinubu made with the president is not binding on members of the party.
Bello, who plans to announce his presidential ambition soon said Tinubu has paid his bellodues and should allow his children to take over in 2023.
“Senator Tinubu is one of our leaders and I respect him so much. He has played a very significant role in Nigeria’s democracy and has built a lot of people. He has paid his dues, and with all respect as a son to him, my simple advice is that it is time for him to allow his children to take over the mantle of leadership. And let us do it to the glory of God and his admiration. He should see that those children he raised are now doing well. Let him see how we would manage this country in his lifetime.
“He has a right to contest, nobody is questioning that. I always urge everybody to respect him for the roles he has played in this country’s democracy. He is a man of integrity, to be candid,” the governor said.
The governor also dispelled the idea that Tinubu may pull out of the party if he does not get the 2023 presidential ticket of the APC.
Bello said, “You don’t build a house and destroy it. I don’t think Tinubu would do that. I think he has grown past that. He is an elder statesman who will not say that the country should be destroyed in his lifetime, not even after his demise. So I don’t see him doing that. I don’t see that happening at all.
On his presidential ambition, Bello said he would give an affirmative answer to those mounting pressure on him to run for the presidency at the appropriate time.