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Rotational presidency: Bello got governorship cheap, became obsessed – Ohanaeze Ndigbo fires

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The Igbo socio-cultural group,
Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, has lampooned Kogi State governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello for kicking against rotational presidency in Nigeria.

Bello has described rotational presidency as unconstitutional ahead of 2023 which he is also contesting for the office.

The Ohanaeze Ndigbo recalled how Yahaya Bello got to the office of governor of Kogi State through judicial travesty, but became obsessed with power.

In his maiden edition of the Governor Yahaya Bello seminar for political and crime correspondents in Abuja, on Friday, Bello insisted that there was no arrangement in the 1999 Constitution as amended to the effect that presidency should rotate among the regions in Nigeria, a remark that incurred the wrath of Igbo group of the South Eastern Nigeria.

In a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Alex Chiedozie Ogbonnia, over the weekend said, “Governor Bello, no doubt, has demonstrated a remarkable obsession with ambition shortly after providence paved way for him to be sworn in as the governor of Kogi State in 2015 at an impressionable age of 40.

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“There is no doubt that Bello has a date with destiny going by a smooth political ascendancy that life has presented to him. However, I have my fears that he is embarking on a political adventure that lacks both conscience and principle.

“The immortal words of Uthman Dan Fodio that ‘conscience is an open wound and only the truth can heal it’ should serve as a moral compass to Nigerian leaders.”

Stating that that there was an agreement for rotational presidency in Nigeria, Ohanaeze recalled that, “The meeting was held at the National University Commission (NUC) Conference Centre, Abuja, in 1998. Dr Chuba Okadigbo spoke on behalf of the South while Alh Abubakar Rimi spoke for the North.

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“The likes of Dr Alex Ekwueme, Chief Solomon Lar, Dr Okwesilieze Nwodo were at the meeting. The Nigerian statesmen examined the merits and demerits of zoning and rotation of power between the composite zones in Nigeria.

“At the end, it was resolved that the presidency be conceded to the South, and that it would rotate between the South and the North in the interest of equity, unity and corporate existence of Nigeria.

“The foregoing was the basis for the emergence of presidential candidates of the mainstream political parties from the Southwest in1999.

“Since then, the patriotic and peace-loving Nigerians have adhered to the rotation principle, such that at the end of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo’s second tenure, President Musa Yar’Adua was elected; Goodluck Jonathan and then President Muhammadu Buhari.

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“The above expose informs the resolution by the Southern governors that the South should produce the next president of Nigeria after President Buhari.”

Ohanaeze Ndigbo, led by Ambassador Professor George Obiozor, therefore advised Gov Bello that ‘it will serve his interest better if he supports the resolution by his southern colleagues; since age is still in his favour’.

According to the statement, “Bello is beckoned to the ethical functional relationship between the morality of an agreement and the legality of the constitution.

“For purpose of clarity, morality is the universal foundation of Laws. On the other hand, law should be seen to stand in defence of morality.”

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