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‘We Want Tinubu To Exceed Buhari,’ Yahaya Bello Says INEC Followed Electoral Guidelines

By Adedayo Said 

Amid a barrage of criticisms of last Saturday’s presidential elections, the Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, has defended the declaration of Bola Tinubu, the candidate of his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), as the winner.

Among those who have queried the results are the presidential candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Labour Party (LP), Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi, who came second and third respectively.

“The 2023 presidential and National Assembly elections have come and gone. To the glory of God, we have a president-elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu,” Bello said during a live appearance on Channels Television’s Politics Today, on Friday.

“In every contest, there must be a winner and a loser. And of course, you can’t stop those that lose from venting their grievances and pointing out flaws. In every system of governance or electioneering, none is 100 percent perfect.

“But let me tell you that, substantially, INEC followed their guidelines and the rules of the game. Our president-elect today followed all these guidelines and the rules and today he has emerged the president-elect.”

According to him, Nigerians should come to terms with the reality that it now has a president-elect in the person of Tinubu, a former Lagos governor.

The governor added that as much as he has supported the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, he is ready to support Tinubu’s government until the latter achieved success.

Bello contested the June 6, 2022, presidential primary of the APC, but joined 13 other aspirants who lost to Tinubu by a landslide.

He however refuses to reveal any plans to contest in the near future.

Asked about a possible bid on the horizon, the Kogi governor said, “The future belongs to God almighty and only almighty Allah has that decision to make for me as we move forward. But for now, I have a task at hand in Kogi State and I’m duty-bound to support my party.”

Bello said he is duty-bound to support the president-elect to succeed, adding allies like him must advise and guide him to ensure that he succeeds beyond Buhari.

“Despite all the achievements of Mr President, we want Asiwaju to achieve and succeed even more than him, and that is even the dream of our leader, President Muhammadu Buhari,” the 47-year-old governor said.

In the aftermath of the elections, which has generated mixed reactions from various circles, especially Tinubu’s closest rivals, Bello has a word of advice.

“All I can tell my brothers and leaders, Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi, and the multitudes of the followers is to please calm down, let us have Nigeria first. Let us live in peace.

“Let us support Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu to implement the laudable programmes and policies that he’s coming up with, as contained in his roadmap, The Renewed Hope 2023.

“Once you’re not satisfied – I’m happy they are taking the legal and very lawful means to seek redress, but we should not overheat the polity,” he said.

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