By Emmanuel Mogbede
A group of nomadic Fulani pastoralists and Almajiri communities has picked the APC Expression of Interest and Nomination forms for former President Goodluck Jonathan, to contest the presidential ticket.
Leader of the group Malam Ibrahim Abdullahi told newsmen on Monday in Abuja, after picking the forms, that Jonathan should be re-elected to enable him to complete what he began.
“My name is Ibrahim Abdullahi, I represent two of the most vulnerable communities in our country, the nomadic pastoralists and the almajiri communities.
“We have decided to purchase this form for our former president, Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, to come back and rule this country and continue with the good work he started,” he said.
He said Jonathan was the first president since the country gained independence in 1960 that found it expedient, through his magnanimity, to remember the Almajiri community.
He recalled that the former president brought a comprehensive policy of reformation and integration of the Almajiri into the mainstream education system in the country.
“It was the dream and vision of Jonathan that if that programme had continued, it would one day produce from the Almajiri education system, doctors and engineers.
” Unfortunately the programme was kept aside as soon as he left office.
“Other parts of the vulnerable community that Jonathan wanted to really give a sense of belonging was the fulani community and nomadic pastoralists.
“He set aside N60bn in the coffers of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) which was to be used to develop livestock in Nigeria.
“I believe if government had continued with that programme, today, we would have been the Denmark, the Sweden, the Holland of the entire Africa in terms of livestock and beef production,” Abdullahi said.
According to him, it is only a leader with the kind of Jonathan’s patriotism and fairness that will give every Nigerian a sense of belonging and rule the country right.
He said though a lot of interest groups had been urging Jonathan to contest the 2023 presidential election, the Fulani nomads and Almajiri communities decided to pick the forms for him to beat the deadline.
“Whether he agrees to contest or not, we need to purchase these forms for him; Jonathan is for all Nigerians. As a Nigerian, we believe he has interest of this country at heart; he will accept us,” he said.
He added that the communities were able to raise the N100m to purchase the forms from proceeds from the sale of their cows.
He called on Nigerians to support Jonathan, to enable him to emerge as the country’s next president in 2023, saying that he stood out among other aspirants.
According to him, a Jonathan’s presidency will unite the country and advance her development.
“I am a Fulani man, coming from the far North, but I tell you, there is no Nigerian today that I can cast my vote for or campaign for except Jonathan.
“For me, Jonathan is the best among all the aspirants, irrespective of where he comes from and religion. He is the best president for Nigeria.
“We are ready not only to purchase this forms for President Jonathan, but I want to assure you that our community has a voting population of about 9 million youths who can also produce about 5 million votes.
“So, we have about 14 million voters, we have other Nigerians who can give us 2 million votes,” Abdullahi said.