The presidential ambition of Governor Yahaya Bello received a boost on Saturday with the inauguration of Bello Ambassadors Network, a youth support group, in Abuja on Saturday.
At the event were Bello, who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Edward Onoja; Chief of Staff to the Governor, Abdulkareem Asuku; and Secretary to the Government of Kogi State, Dr Folashade Arike-Ayoade and several supporters of Governor Yahaya Bello mostly young persons.
The National Coordinator, BAN, Anthony Edogbo, in his welcome address, thanked Bello “for receiving this organisation with open arms and allowing us to carry out this very dear project.”
Edogbo said, “Our support is borne out of the urgent need to promote the youth agenda and support one of our own, Governor Yahaya Bello, the reason we are all seated here today.
“I have an immediate agenda targeted not just at hitting our 5 million membership target by December 2021, but also at reaching out to every Nigerian through door-to-door awareness and sensitisation for the 2023 year.
“Nigeria is a nation with a youth population of over 33 million. Sadly, over the years, we have failed to utilise our numerical strength, creativity and powers towards building the Nigeria of our dreams. A Nigeria where every tribe, gender and religion is given equal opportunities to thrive and contribute towards national development. A Nigeria that prioritizes healthcare and education, security, economic and infrastructural development.
Onoja, in his acceptance speech, said Bello “is available” to be sponsored by the youth.
He, however, asked BAN to raise the target from five million to 10 million.
He said, “I heard the coordinator say the target is 5 million by December. You need to stretch it because, in the last 2019 elections, we had 84 million registered voters – (those aged) 35 years and below were 43 million in the 84 million, that is 61 million. So, if you are targeting five million in 43 million, that is like 25 per cent target of the pool that is available for you to target.
“His Excellency, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, did not drop from the sky. By education, he is well-read. By antecedent as an experienced civil servant, he did it for nearly 15 years and rose to the citadel of his career. As an entrepreneur, he was successful…all before the age of 40. On the home front; successful marriage to three women, blessed with children, no rancour; a very difficult task for any man.
“Our greatest challenge in the country today, we all know, is security. Even with the efforts of the President Muhammadu Buhari, the challenge is looking like it is not abating. But the story of Kogi halved from worse to better, headed to the best; that is the story of Kogi.”
On his part, the Chief of Staff to Governor Yahaya Bello, Pharmacist Jamiu Abdulkareem Asuku described Bello as the hope of Nigerian youths, adding that the calls from various quarters for the governor to contest for presidency shows that the people of Nigeria, especially the youths are satisfied with his leadership style and are also confident that he will deliver the Nigeria our collective desires.
He said Bello is a courageous leader who leads from the front, and said collectively, young people will work with him solve the problems facing the nation.