Omeiza Ajayi, Abuja
A group of Fulani herdsmen and ‘Almajiri’ on Monday night picked the All Progressives Congress APC Presidential Nomination and Expression of Interest forms for former President Goodluck Jonathan.
Noting that Jonathan had a lot of initiatives for them, the group said the former president must be encouraged to come back and continue the good works he started for the Fulani.
Spokesman of the group, Ibrahim Abdullahi said they decided to pick the forms in order to beat the APC deadline, not minding if the former president accepts them or not.
Asked whether Jonathan is a member of the APC, he said; “yes, he is”.
Addressing journalists, Abdullahi said; “I represent two of the most vulnerable communities in our country. The nomadic pastoralist and the Almajiri communities who have decided to purchase these forms for our former president, Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan to come back and rule this country and continue with the good work he has started.
“You may recall that during Goodluck Jonathan’s era he was the first president since independence of Nigeria who had found it expedient, who was magnanimous enough some of us remember the Almajiri community, he brought a comprehensive policy of reformation and integration of the Almajiri into the mainstream educational system in Nigeria.
“It was the dream and the vision of President Goodluck Jonathan that if that programme had continued it would one day produce from the Almajiri system of education; Doctors, engineers etc. Unfortunately, that programme was kept aside as soon as he left. Other parts of the community ( the vulnerable community) that Goodluck Jonathan wanted to really give a sense of belonging was the Fulani community, the nomadic pastoralist.
“He set aside N60 billions in the coffers of the Central Bank of Nigeria 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, in terms of beef and so on. Looking at this situation and of course the problems Nigeria today is facing, we believe that only a leader with that kind of patriotism, a leader with that kind of fairness who is ready to give every Nigerian sense of belonging, can be able to rule this country and that leader is Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.
“As you may have heard, a lot of interest groups have been coming out to urge him to contest but we felt that because of the deadline that was given whether he agrees or not we need to purchase this form.
“Goodluck Jonathan is for all Nigeria. As Nigerians we believe he has interest of this country at heart, he will accept us. You can see that we are almost late to buy these forms, we have been trying with the Almajiri and the Fulani’s selling our cows. We were able to raise this money just yesterday and we decided to come and purchase these forms. Let Nigerians support this project. If you are talking about Goodluck Jonathan, I don’t think there is any aspirant so far that we have seen that can be compared in any way with Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.
“Unless if Nigerians are not serious, unless if we don’t want to integrate and unite in this country, unless if you want to continue playing the politics of religion, tribalism. You see 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 or campaign for except Jonathan. For me Jonathan is best among all the aspirants, irrespective of where he comes from and his religion.
“Goodluck Jonathan is the best president for Nigeria and I hope with this purchase of forms today, I call on all the aspirants if they are really patriotic, if they want Nigeria’s unity, if they want sense of belonging, if they want a president for all, if they want a president that has come out to say his ambition does not worth the blood of any Nigerian no matter how lowly or highly placed such Nigerian is and he lived to that word when the chips were down, I think it is time for Nigerians to tell that man to come back and lead us”, he stated.
It was observed that many other outlets were shut as they claimed not to have products to dispense, a development that led to the crowding of the filling stations that dispensed the commodity.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation has ascribed the sudden appearance of fuel queues in parts of Abuja to low loadouts and increased purchases that characterise post-holiday periods.
In a statement, the spokesman for NNPC, Garba Deen Muhammad, said on Monday that the company had sufficient fuel supplies to satisfy the demands of Abuja residents for over six weeks.
The statement partly read in part, “The NNPC Ltd notes the sudden appearance of fuel queues in parts of Abuja. This is very likely due to low loadouts at depots which usually happen during long public holidays, in this case, the Sallah celebrations.
“Another contributing factor to the sudden appearances of queues is the increased fuel purchases which are also usual with returning residents of the FCT from the public holidays.”
He further said the NNPC and the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, in conjunction with our marketing partners, had taken necessary measures to ramp up loadouts from all depots.
He assured all residents of the FCT and Nigerians that NNPC had ample local supplies and national stock in excess of 2.5 billion liters, with the sufficiency of more than 43 days.
“The NNPC Limited hereby advises motorists not to engage in panic buying as supplies are adequate as will become increasingly evident in the coming days.”
But the Chief Executive Officer of the Centre for Promotion of Private Enterprise, Dr Muda Yusuf, urged the Federal Government to deregulate the industry to avoid long queue recurrences
Omeiza Ajayi, Abuja