Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello was at the State House Presidential Villa on Friday. He spoke with reporters on a wide range of issues including his chances of returning for a second term, the significance of June 12 and what President Buhari did by honouring June 12. Below are excerpts of the interview:
On the moves by his party to deny him the party’s ticket and his desperate efforts to retain his ticket and return as the next Governor of Kogi State.
Thank you very much. I am the governor today and Insha Allah, l will return back as the governor for another four years, after the November 16 election. As for the ticket, the analogy is that the tenant cannot send the landlord out of his house. So, APC in Kogi State was rebuilt by me, after the good job done by our late leader, His Excellency, Prince Abubakar Audu. After his demise, l came, rebuilt it from the scratch to what it is today. That is evident in the last outing of the party where we had 25/25, in the State House of Assembly. We also won 7 out of the 9 contested positions in the House of Representatives and two out of the three Senators representing Kogi State in the Senate. So,anybody that is making such noise, does not disturb me, because, in the market place, noise is allowed. You know, in Kogi politics is the loudest, so people must make noise and you can’t stop that. But surely, l am very good with my party from the local government to the national level. They know that l am the leader of the party in my state. I have built it and it is very strong. Anytime, any day, we will elections in landslide. That l am going to win in the primaries is a given by the grace of God, by whichever means, direct or indirect.
Secondly, in the November governorship election, we are not just talking of wining, we are looking at the margins. The margin is going to be such that whoever comes far second, will be discouraged to go to court.
On Significance of declaration of June 12 as Nigeria’s Democracy Day….
We can’t thank Mr President well enough for that wonderful masterstroke of recognising an icon, a human being that is synonymous with democracy, the late Chief MKO Abiola. I think something would have been wrong if he had not done this. For effectively doing it well, we can’t thank him enough. It is so significant for us and the future generation to know that this man paid the supreme price for the democracy we are enjoying today. We continue to pray for him to do more for the country. He has blazed the trail.
It’s significance for politics and politicians
In politics, we have to be real we are in this politics to serve. Chief MKO Abiola was out to serve us. He was denied. President Muhammadu Buhari is serving us and he has also recognised the man who paid the supreme sacrifice and what this means is that we must remain real and have the interest of the masses at heart and serve them to the best of our abilities.
APC recently got all it wanted in the leadership of the National Assembly. What should Nigerians expect from the party?
You are going to see government at ease in the next level. Programs, projects and every policy of government, you are going to see them implemented with ease unlike what we saw in the Eighth National Assembly. You can see now that the atmosphere is very calm and everybody is happy. It shows that APC got it right this time round. So, kudos to Mr. President, the leadership of our great party and leadership of the National Assembly and indeed all the members of the National Assembly.