[From BONIFACE OKORO, Umuahia]
Kogi State governor, Yahaya Bello, has assured that Nigeria would regain her enviable international status if he emerges the President of Nigeria in 2023.
The Governor who spoke in Abuja why fielding questions from newsmen at the just concluded Second Annual GYB Seminar for Nigeria’s Political and Crime Correspondents/Editors, however noted that a lot of things have to be put right to get the international community to begin to respect Nigeria again.
Bello who officially declared his intention to contest for the presidential position on the platform of the All Progressive Congress (APC) on Saturday, April 2, 2022, in Abuja, said within one year, he would fix the home front, especially resolving the security question and put Nigeria on the lane of progress and prosperity that would earn her high degree of respect from foreign nations.
Responding to a question on what he would do if elected President to enhance Nigeria’s image abroad and get other nations to respect Nigerians in foreign lands, Bello outlined the strides he would take in that direction in one year thus:
“I don’t think that I will be that President that will be saddled with the leadership of this country and after 365 days of my stewardship as President and Commander-In-chief of Nigeria, the whole world will bow for Nigeria. And my policy will be Nigeria first, Nigeria first and Nigeria first.
“When we secure our country, put ourselves together, when we unite ourselves and ensure that there is prosperity and progress in this country, the whole world will respect us and, of course, those in diaspora who are willing to return back home, will come in their numbers.”
“We have to fix our home front. If you do not respect others, you don’t expect respect in return. If you are not secured and we continue to play this politics of sectionalism, politics of ethnicity, politics of the stomach, politics of religion, we are not prepared as a people to get it right.
“Nigeria can only get the leadership it deserves going by the quality of people they elect into leadership position,” the APC Presidential hopeful said.
The APC Presidential aspirant said programmes and policies he would execute to restore Nigeria’s image abroad would be detailed in his manifesto.
Promising to change the fortunes of Nigeria within 365 days upon assumption of office as President, Bello said he would turn the economy around and revolutionize agriculture.
“I think when we secure our country and incentivize our agriculture, there will be food security in this country,” he said.
Giving example with his performance in the area of agriculture in Kogi, Bello said “in Kogi State, we already have Confluence Rice established in the first year of my administration and it is about the best in the country.”
He said he would put various mechanisms in place to make agriculture attractive to the youthful population of the country and also to revive the manufacturing sector in order to create employment.
Bello who said he would not publicly discuss his strategy for tackling insecurity in the country should he ascend the Presidency, assured that he would deploy technology and strengthen the security apparatchik of the country, adding “I will ensure that all stakeholders sit up and do their work.”
The Governor while expressing confidence that he would clinch the APC Presidential ticket at the party’s primary, said: “If consensus is going to be the option, I don’t think the APC will go outside Yahaya Bello. Even if other considerations are put forward, that is either indirect or direct primary; GYB is the man to beat. I am confident. I trust God Almighty and I trust the judgement of the leadership and members of my great party.”
For Nigeria to work henceforth, Bello said Nigerians must do away with ethnicity and other primordial divisive tendencies.
“This time around, it is the time we must jettison this mundane sentiment of where you come 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 therefore put myself forward to champion a new Nigeria where those sentiments will no longer matter anymore,” he said.