2023: Why I will not accept aspirants’ offers to be VP
By Professor Babagana Zulum
(Below was part Governor Zulum’s remark when he accepted nomination as candidate of the APC in Borno for the 2023 governorship:)
Only at the weekend, more than 30 youths were killed around Kala-Balge. This should remind us of the reality of our problems and the need to deliberately unite ourselves towards the recovery, stability and prosperity of our dear Borno State.
At this point, ladies and gentlemen, I will like to address one issue. I did not consult anyone before raising this issue here because I did not want to give room to convinced otherwise.
As you all know, the APC will be holding presidential primaries coming weekend.
I have seen all kinds of promotional media content, including articles by notable columnists, associating me with the 2023 presidency.
Let me reveal with apologies, that some close associates of key presidential aspirants have sent me offers for the position of running mate, as possible Vice President, depending on the outcome of the APC presidential primaries by the weekend.
I have thought deeply about these offers because becoming Vice President is considered attractive. I have thought about all the powers and privileges of being VP. I can see the honour of presiding over meetings attended by Governors and ministers and the privilege of having a presidential Jet at one’s disposal. I can see the honour of presidential receptions within and outside Nigeria.
However, I have asked myself, that should I get the opportunity to become VP and raise my political profile, what happens to all our ongoing works for the people of Borno State?
We have built more than 10, 000 house and currently more of such and reconstructing existing ones, for ongoing resettlement of our people. We have resettled more than 20 communities so far.
Yet, thousands of our fellow citizens are still homeless and in desperate need of food, water and healthcare.
We have adopted a development plan that we are already implementing.
I have asked myself, what happens to all these plans that I am central to, which are helping to fast track our recovery in Borno State?
Ladies and gentlemen, the killings in Kala-Balge at the weekend made me more critical and the incident seriously reminded me of the challenges that are still ahead of us in Borno State.
I came to the conclusion that while a chance to become Vice President could benefit my profile as an individual, becoming reelected as Governor of Borno State has the potential of more overall and more assurance of benefit to the good people of Borno State.
I therefore say that while I thank those who may be considering me for the position of VP, I prefer to stay back and work drastically for the people of Borno State because for me as a citizen of Borno State, working with others to hastily rebuild Borno State is the most urgent need and it is beyond any aspiration.
I profoundly thank everyone who thought of me worthy of any responsibility and I +pray that Allah helps us to work towards the full restoration of peace, the full recovery and growth of Borno State.
I am grateful to our party executives at all levels for supporting us. I am grateful to all serving and former public office holders who constitute our stakeholders.
For you our delegates who elected me at the just concluded primaries, I am indeed grateful to each of you for this mandate.
Above everyone, I am eternally grateful all the good people of Borno for the mandate given to us back in 2019, and for the overwhelming support we received from May 2019 to date.
I believe that insha’Allah, the people of Borno State will support the APC to another resounding victory at all levels.