A former aide to Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, Mall. Suleiman Abdulmalik has urged the pan-Igbo socio-cultural group to praise his principal rather knock him regarding his position on rotational presidency come 2023.
He punctured the suggestion of the group asserting that his boss is a neophyte in national politics, saying he remains a nationalist who champions issues that affect the wellbeing of Nigerians.
Abdulmalik in a statement he issued in Lokoja on Thursday called on the leaders of all the socio-cultural groups in the southern parts of the country to see Bello as a crusader to their cause.
The Kogi State helmsman had recently waded into the debate over rotational presidency between the North and the South argued that it was unnecessary.
His position was carpeted by the leadership of Ohaneze who argued that there was a gentleman agreement prior the 2015 poll that power should revert back to the South in 2023.
Reacting to the debate, Abdulmalik who was Bello’s senior special assistant for Local Government and chieftaincy affairs urged groups in the South to see his principal as a part of them.
“For me, I don’t think there should be any form of schism between and Ohaneze. The two are championing the same cause which is rooted on the need for equity, fairness and justice.
“Rather than castigate Bello, I will urged Ohaneze and similar other groups particularly in the South to see him as one of the advocates.” He said.
Abdulmalik premised his position on the issue saying like the other three zones on the South, the North Central region of the country shares similar fate with those in the South and that there was the need to forge synergy.
“Like our brothers and sisters in the southern parts of the country, the North Central region of the country too is bearing the brunt of political and economic marginalization which Bello has been an advocate championing fairness and equity.
“If you check the records, he has also used several platforms and fora to mainstream issues of national interest of fairness and justice. He has not only fought the cause of the North Central. ” he said.
He lauded Bello for his statesmanship saying the governor ought to be viewed the within the prism of a nationalist and not a parochial or pecuniary political leader.