Babagana Zulum, governor of Borno, says he has been approached by presidential aspirants to be their running mate in the 2023 general election.
He said this on Thursday during the governorship primary organised by the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state.
Zulum, who secured the APC governorship ticket, said he would rather prefer to focus on continuing on his achievements as governor.
“As you all know, the APC will be holding presidential primaries this coming weekend. I have seen all kinds of promotional media content, including articles by notable columnists, associating me with the 2023 presidency,” he said.
“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 houses, 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 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.”
Announcing the result of the primary which held at the El-Kanemi sports centre in Maiduguri, Uba Ahmadu, chairman of the electoral committee, said Zulum polled 1,411 votes.
He said 1,560 voters were registered for the primary, while 1,422 voters were accredited, out of which 1,411 votes were recorded with no invalid vote.
Zulum, in his acceptance speech, thanked stakeholders and delegates of the APC in the state, as well as the Borno people for their support.