ABUJA – Some Fulani youths from Northern Nigeria on Tuesday met with a group of Igbo elders and drummed support for the presidential ambition of a former governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi, on the platform of the Labour Party.
The youths who said the Fulani would no longer vote along ethnic and religious lines, said they decided to support Obi because of his leadership qualities.
The Fulani youths from the 19 Northern States and Abuja made their position known during a meeting with Igbo Elders Consultative Forum led by elder statesman, Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife.
During the meeting, the Fulani youths presented a document containing their demands to the former Chairman of Police Service Commission, Chief Simon Okeke, who chaired the meeting.
The leader of the delegation, Ibrahim Abdullahi, said the decision to support Obi was to reinvent the alliance between the North and South East as witnessed in the First and second Republics.
Abdullahi said, “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.
“We are looking for a leader that is capable of taking Nigeria to the promise land. We have realised that these two tribes, Fulani and Igbo hold 99 per cent of the corporate existence of Nigeria. The Igbos have the control of over 80 per cent of the commercial activities in the country while the Fulanis control 99 per cent of livestock we have. Igbos and Fulani coming together to work for the good of Nigeria will be the best.
“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 wound of civil war and course, we have offended ourselves but we are doing this to bring about the much needed healing.”
The IECF chairman and former governor of Anambra State, Chief Chukwuemeka Ezeife, described Obi as true unifier who will banish poverty, insecurity, and all the negatives associated with Nigeria.
While responding to the comment made by Anambra State Governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo on Obi’s chances, Ezeife said everybody cannot support Obi’s presidential bid.
Soludo had dismissed the chances of Obi in 2023 and criticised the style of Ndigbo in their quest for the country’s number one seat in an article titled, ‘History beckons and I will not be silent.’
The article drew mixed reactions across the country and particularly on social media, where Soludo was heavily criticised.
Ezeife said, “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 very well. Many years I left as a governor, I saw him at airport carrying his own luggage. He insisted that public fund must be used for public good.
“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 people are for Obi.” (The Punch)