By Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
A governorship aspirant on the platform of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in Adamawa State, Hon. Emma Bello, has said victory in the 2019 elections will be based on theÂ popularity of individual contestants and not the usualÂ bandwagon effect as experienced in 2015.
Against the background of intrigues and controversies surrounding the move by the National Assembly to reorder the sequence of elections, Bello said such postulations that President Muhammadu Buhariâ€™s incumbency factor will affect other outcome of elections is no longer valid.
Speaking in an interview with journalists in Abuja at the weekend, Bello said the coming of President Buhari in 2015 was a blessing in disguise, adding that Nigerians have now been able to assess him and will be a in position to appropriate their votes correctly in 2019.
â€œThe coming of Buhari in 2015 was a blessing in disguise to appropriating the votes correctly in 2019. People have realised that voting everybody on one platform was a big mistake. That is why the new campaign is that your character should save you. If your character is to save you, then it means people will appropriate their votes to individuals. They are no longer going for â€˜sakâ€™. They were doing sak in the last one, there will be no â€˜sakâ€™ in this particular one,â€ he said.
The legislator who until a forthnight ago was a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), said: â€œIt is no longer going to be â€˜sakâ€™. It will be a question of who you are. If this person is performing, letâ€™s vote him back. If this person is a liar, letâ€™s vote him out.â€
The governorship aspirant also gave an insight on why he is seekingÂ the position, saying Admawa State was in dire need of a visionary leaders who can translate its vast economic and human potential to advantage to provide for the wellbeing of the ordinary people.
He said his interest is to uplift the standard of living of the poor and less-privileged people in the state who incidentally are in the majority.
â€œIf I become the governor of the state, which, by the grace of God, I will be, I will ask all Adamawa indigenes that are unemployed to come back home. Those hardworking young men who are doing okada in Lagos, I will give them jobs. I will create jobs and I will take them. Our total population is 3.7 million of which 35.2 per cent are already above the age of 35 to 70.
â€œSecondly, I am not a candidate for minority groups. Iâ€™m not a candidate for the oppressed groups. Iâ€™m a candidate for the Talakawa. I am the candidate for the poor people of Adamawa State either minorities or majorities. In every segment of the society, we find people who are under-privileged by circumstances of birth, creed or religion. I am their candidate. My liberation for the people of Adamawa State is not about their tribe or creed. But it is about humanity.
â€œI feel that is the only way can apply my ideas and business innovations to governments, I will be able to salvage the situation. I can create wealth for the state which will take care of many issues. It will take care of infrastructure, education, health system and unemployment.
â€œIf you can take care of these major problems in any state in Nigeria, you have solved 80 per cent of that stateâ€™s problems. It means that it will be a place every Nigerian will like to go, settle and live his or her life.
â€œSo, with this few words, this is the reason I want to be governor for the time being. That is why I think when Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) finally blows the whistle, I will declare,â€ he said.