Youths of Fulani extraction under the umbrella of Endan Fulaku on Tuesday, endorsed the candidature of Mr Peter Obi of the Labour Party, and his running mate, Datti Baba-Ahmed, as their presidential candidate for the forthcoming general elections.
Dr Ibrahim Abdullahi, national president of the group, confirmed Obi’s endorsement when he led members of the socio-cultural organisation to meet with the Igbo Elders Consultative Forum, under the leadership of former Anambra governor, Chief Chukwuemeka Ezeife, in Abuja.
He said the coming together of Igbo and Fulani ethnic nationalities was critical to the unity and stability of the nation, adding that the political alliance of the North and the East had saved the nation on several occasions in the past.
He said: “It’s also on record that when the two regions found themselves at loggerheads with each other, it resulted into the unfortunate Nigeria Civil War, which not even our worst enemy could ever wish for us.
“The current president is our kinsman but we have come to realise from experience that you don’t need to have someone from your tribe or faith as president before your lives improve. What we need is somebody that is patriotic, honest, just and fair. In Nigeria, Fulani are no longer after tribal or religious sentiments (in politics).
“On this note, I wish to call on the entire North to support Obi’s presidential aspiration not only because Obi is the best presidential material, but because it is key to the unity, stability and prosperity of our nation.
“We are looking for a leader that is capable of taking Nigeria to the promised land. We have realised that these two tribes, Fulani and Igbo, coming together to work for the good of Nigeria will be the best. I wish to call on our members to work tirelessly to ensure that they reach out to the entire nooks and crannies of the nation to canvass for support of the candidate. We shall soon reach out to other ethnic nationalities and geopolitical zones.
“You should also know that this is not the first time. The alliance between the two ethnic groups in the first and second Republics brought prosperity to the country. Though we are still licking the wounds of the civil war and of course, we have offended ourselves but we are doing this to bring about the much-needed healing.”
Speaking further, Ezeife described Obi as a true unifier, who will banish poverty, insecurity, and all the negatives associated with Nigeria.
According to the IECF chairman, “If Peter Obi becomes president, in the next two years, our sons and daughters abroad will begin to think of coming back home. God has his hand in Obi’s movement. I know him (Peter Obi) very well. Many years after I left as a governor, I saw him at the airport carrying his own luggage. He has always insisted that the public’s funds must be used for the public good.”
Reacting also to the comment made by the incumbent Anambra State governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo wherein he expressed pessimism over Obi’s chances of victory at the forthcoming polls, Ezeife said everybody cannot support the presidential bid of the Labour Party candidate.
“Then, as we are here, if all of us (Igbos) are saying the same thing, it will look somehow. We are happy to hear that some might not be supporting him, but that doesn’t mean anything. I know that 99 per cent of the Southeast people are for Obi,” he said.