Governor Yahaya Bello is against zoning 2023 Presidency to any region

Bello says no political party should limit its choice to any particular zone.

Kogi State governor, Yahaya Bello [TheCable]

The 46-year-old is known to be eyeing the nation's highest political office in the upcoming election, but his ambition faces an initial uphill battle as there's an intense campaign for the next president to emerge from the southern region.

While speaking at a seminar on Friday, July 9, 2021, Bello said no political party should limit its choice to any of Nigeria's six geopolitical zones.

The governor further suggested that if zoning is employed anyway, the options should be limited to the south east, and his own north central, the two zones he said have not occupied the President or Vice President positions since the 1999 return to democratic governance.

He said, "All I can say is that in factoring your 2023 equations, please allow yourselves to be guided by the national interest to input the following factors: youthfulness, courage, security, diversity, and clear records in successfully managing diversity which is where most post-independence leaders of Nigeria have failed."

There's an unwritten agreement on the rotation of the presidency between the north and the south, with the incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari, a northerner, set to end his second term in 2023.

Nothing appears concrete as to where the two major political parties will zone their tickets less than two years to the next elections.

Even if the parties zone the tickets to the south, there are internal conflicts about which geopolitical zone deserves to have it.

President Olusegun Obasanjo (1999 - 2007) from the south west, and President Goodluck Jonathan (2010 - 2015) from the south south have both occupied the nation's highest political office.

There have been demands for the 2023 slot to go to the south east but there's no consensus yet in the region.

Bello on Friday noted that he has managed to create a legacy of cooperation and integration as Kogi governor, a success he said needs to be deployed on a national scale.

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