Former president Goodluck Jonathan has finally joined the 2023 presidential race after picking the All Progressives Congress, APC, nomination and expression of interest forms.
The forms which cost N100m was procured for him by a group of Nomadic pastoralists and Almajiris who claimed they sold their cows and crops to gather the money.
The supporters carrying placards with difference inscriptions such as “you are a good man”, “Jonathan, you’re the only voice of the masses we know”, “Jonathan you must run” among others insisted the former president remains their only hope for a better future.
While acknowledging their overwhelming supports, the former president urged his teeming supporters to continue to pray for peace and unity of Nigeria and that God should provide the right candidate to lead the country.
Stated that he was still in the process of consultation and would soon make known his decision whether to contest or not.
Addressing journalists Monday at the International Conference Centre, ICC, venue of APC sale of forms, leader of the group, Ibrahim Abdullahi, said remains the most patriotic of the aspirants who has the love of the pastoralists and Almajiris at heart.
“I represent two of the most vulnerable communities in our country, the Nomadic pastoralists and the Almajiris who have decided to purchase this form for our former president, Dr Goodluck Jonathan to come back and rule this country and continue with the good work he has done.
“He’s the first president to remember two of the most vulnerable groups in the country.
“He brought a comprehensive policy of reformation and integration of the Almajiris into the mainstream education system in Nigeria.
“It was the dream and the vision of president Goodluck Jonathan that if that program has continued it will one day produce from the Almajiris System of education doctors engineers unlike what obtained today.
“Unfortunately that program was set aside as soon as he left. The other part of the vulnerable communities that Jonathan really wanted to give a sense of belonging was the Fulani and the Nomadic pastoralists.
“You will recall that he set aside 60 billion naira 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 the program, we would have been the Denmark, the Sweden, the Holland of entire Africa.
“We could have been what Denmark is to Europe in terms of livestock production, in terms of milk and beef and so on.
“Now looking at this situation and the problems that Nigeria is facing, we believe that only a leader with that kind of patriotism, a leader with that kind of fairness to give every Nigerian sense of belonging to rule this country and that person is Goodluck Jonathan.
“We are ready not only to purchase this form for Jonathan, I want to assure you that our community, the pastoralists community has the voting power of about 9 million votes plus the Almajiris who also can produce about 5 million votes.
“All we are asking other Nigerians is to give us at least 2 million votes and we are home and dry,” Abdullahi said.