Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State says he would only consider stepping down his presidential ambition in 2023 if former President Goodluck Jonathan indicates interest in contesting for the position.
The governor said this when he featured on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics, explaining that his stance is based on respect for Jonathan who appointed him as the minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in 2010.
“He is one of those persons I respect most in this country. He is the most respected person I have because I emerged and came to national limelight through him,” the governor said after months of speculation that Jonathan may join the race.
“Certainly, I have come to establish a family relationship with him and to me, he cannot be in the race and I will be in the race, out of respect and modesty.
“I have given him enough time and he has urged me to go ahead and I have gone ahead and even gotten another burden now; the mandate of my elders to continue. So, if Jonathan is running, it is a very big problem to me.”
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While the two main political parties in the country have not officially zoned the presidential seat, the governor says he does not believe in the power-sharing deal.
Nigeria, he argued, needs someone who can lead the nation irrespective of where such person hails from.
“I don’t believe in sectionalism or zoning. I believe in Nigeria first. I believe that Nigerians should be given the opportunity to get the best, but put that aside about merit and rotation which is the key because we’re a federating entity country,” he said.
This comes days after the former minister and former Senate President Bukola Saraki were selected by the Northern Elders Forum as the consensus candidates for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).