Since Nigeria returned to democracy in 1999, Atiku has unsuccessfully contested for the office of the president four times.
However, in an interview with Channels TV on Friday, January 7, 2022, Fani-Kayode said the governor of Kogi State would make an “excellent president.”
He said, “I believe Governor Yahaya Bello. I believe that he will be an excellent president. I believe he will appeal to millions of young people in this country and that this is a change in the dynamics we are giving power to a younger person. That is just my view though.”
Asked if Bello, who aspires to contest on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) can defeat Atiku of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the ex-minister said replied, “Why not? He (Bello) will defeat him (Atiku) hands down.”
Fani-Kayode added that only Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State and his Enugu State counterpart, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, from the PDP can provide a “ very strong fight” against the APC in the 2023 presidential poll.
He said, “There are two people that will provide a very strong fight against the APC within the ranks of the PDP, only two. The first is Bala Mohammed, who I have immense respect for.
“But I doubt they have the presence of mind to give him the ticket in fact they will make sure he does not get the ticket or he should come to APC and try his luck.
“And Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu state who is not even on your list (a list of 2023 presidential hopefuls put together by Channels Television) and he is one of the brightest and the best of them all, the most effective. They are two people that would provide a good fight.
“There is nobody else on that list, particularly Atiku Abubakar, that can stand against anybody within the APC, particularly against Yahaya Bello, Fashola, or Fayemi. That is just my view, and I have my reason for saying that.”
In the 2019 presidential election, Atiku polled 11,262,978 votes to come second, while the winner of the election, President Muhamadu Buhari secured 15,191,847 votes.