By Ishaya Ibrahim, News Editor
The game of musical chairs that is the race for the presidential ticket of the All Progresives Congress (APC) got curious on Monday when a group simply identified as ‘Fulani Group’ purchased the N100 million nominations and expression of interest forms for former President Goodluck Jonathan.
This is coming after months of hide and seek by the former president.
The group whose membership is exclusively Fulani and almajiri is led by Ibrahim Abdullahi.
– Advertisement –
Recall that on April 22, 2022, protesters stormed the Abuja private office of Jonathan, urging him to declare for 2023 presidential race.
A spokesman for the group, Mayor Samuel, who is also the convener of the Youth Compatriots of Nigeria said, “We were deceived and brainwashed by those who claimed they could do it in 2015.
“Now, we know better, under Jonathan the minimum wage could buy one or two bags of rice. What do we have today? We are begging President Jonathan to forgive us, we have realized our mistakes, we want him back to complete what he started.”
Jonathan had assured them that consultations were ongoing and they would hear from him sooner than later.
“Yes you are calling me to come and declare for the next election, I cannot tell I’m declaring. The political process is ongoing just watch out. The key role you must play is that Nigeria must get somebody that will carry young people along.”
– Advertisement –
With the latest development, it would appear that the consultations had been concluded and Jonathan had finally agreed to throw his hat into the ring.
With Jonathan’s entrance, APC presidential aspirants have risen to 26.
Today the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, and Cross River State Governor, Ben Ayade, equally purchased their nomination forms in Abuja.
Meanwhile, Senate Chief Whip, Orji Uzor Kalu, has withdrawn from the race.
The former governor of Abia State threw his weight behind the presidential bid of Senate President Ahmad Lawan.
Kalu in a statement in Abuja said: “I congratulate my friend, former roommate and boss, Senator Ahmad Lawan, as he picks form to run for President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria under our great party, All Progressives Congress (APC).
“I am most glad because he is from the North East, the only zone alongside South East that is yet to produce President of Nigeria.
“I have always maintained an unambiguous stand that for justice, equity and fairness in our country, the next President of Nigeria after President Muhammadu Buhari should come from the South East or the North East.
“I have also told Nigerians that I would only run for the office of President if the two major political parties (APC and PDP) zone their tickets to the South East.
“That is why I was disappointed with our southern brothers who are talking about fairness and equity but have zero tolerance for the same fairness and equity in the South.
“In the absence of a South Easterner being President of Nigeria in 2023, I have my full support for a North Easterner. This is because it would be the closest to the equity, fairness and justice everyone is talking about. It further means that justice is on its way to the South East.
“I thank those who said they have picked presidential form for me because they meant well for Nigerians.
“However, since there is no zoning and the contest is open to all Nigerians, I officially withdraw from presidential contest in 2023.
“I have also picked ticket to run for Abia North Senatorial zone and to complete the good work I started in Abia North.
“I urge all my friends, allies and supporters in the APC to toe the line of justice by supporting Senator Ahmad Lawan, a North Easterner for the presidential ticket of the APC.”