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Less than 24 hours after former President Goodluck Jonathan publicly rejected the presidential expression of interest and nomination forms, the All Progressive Congress (APC) the Secretary of the Fulani Group, Usman Mohammed, has pledged that Jonathan must accept the forms and contest the said elections.
Africa Daily News, New York reports that the group, which is an arm of the nomadic Fulani and the Almajiri communities, stormed the International Conference Centre in Abuja on Monday evening to procure the forms.
Recall that the news of Jonathan purchasing APC presidential forms on Monday got Nigerians pondering if he was truly considering a return to Aso Rock on the platform of the ruling party.
Reacting swiftly to the report, the ex-Bayelsa deputy governor dissociated himself from the purported APC presidential form, which he described as an insult.
He disclosed in a statement issued on Monday night by his spokesman, Ikechukwu Eze, that he didn’t authorise the purchase.
The statement which was obtained by Africa Daily News, New York read, ‘It has come to our notice that a group has purportedly purchased Presidential Nomination and Expression of Interest forms of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in the name of former President Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.
‘We wish to categorically state that Dr. Jonathan was not aware of this bid and did not authorise it.
‘We want to state that if the former President wanted to contest an election, he would make his intentions clear to the public and will not enter through the back door.
‘Buying a presidential aspiration form in the name of Dr. Jonathan without his consent, knowing the position he had held in this country, is considered an insult to his person.’
But hours after Jonathan’s statement disassociating himself from the form, Mohammed told reporters that the nomination was meant to be a surprise gift to the ECOWAS special envoy.
The Fulani Group secretary stated that if the ex-president turns down the nomination form as he threatened, they will be left with no option but to force him to accept it.
‘I believe you are aware of how we blocked his office in the FCT during our rallies in Kano, Suleja, Minna, and Abuja, and forced him to come out to address journalists. It is the same approach.
‘If he doesn’t accept our form, we won’t let him out of Nigeria,’ he said.
According to him, the Fulani pastoralists opted for the choice of Jonathan out of the almost 30 APC presidential candidates because of his patriotism and love for Nigeria.
Mohammed explained that his people were compelled to sell their livestock to raise money for the nomination forms because of the development he brought into the Fulani and Almajiri schools.