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Ethnic minorities endorse Jonathan’s re-election

By Isa Abdulsalami
19 March 2015   |   6:00 am
“There have been powerful and influential individuals from northern minority ethnic groups before, but under the satanic banner of ‘One North, One Destiny,’ or in the name of protecting the so-called ‘Northern interest,’ we the ethnic minorities have been used by the Hausa-Fulani to further their interests while we gain nothing.”

northA GROUP of ethnic minorities, mostly from the North, has endorsed President Goodluck Jonathan’s reelection bid, saying that his ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presents the mix of minority-majority presidential ticket that contemporary Nigeria should support.

It said that the All Progressives Congress (APC) would present a majority-majority presidency should the presidential candidate and running mate get elected in the coming election.

The components are operating under the auspices of Nigerian Ethnic Minority Rights Movement for the Actualisation of Goodluck Jonathan’s Presidential Ambition in 2015 (NEMRIMAG), with headquarters in Jos, Plateau State.

They said in a statement: “The ethnic minority’s fears of domination by the majority ethnic groups would prove to be justified when the British left, and signs abound that this would be continued should we vote in a majority/majority ticket, which the All Progressives Congress has fielded.”

Signed jointly by NEMRIMAG President, Gizo Kuulyidamsu Jnr, and Secretary, Onya E. Samuel, the statement added: “We urge our people to rise against this domination and develop a fourth force (after the three major language groups of Hausa-Fulani, Yoruba and Igbo) that will counter this evil agenda against ethnic minorities.

“Over time, national narrative and political discourse took on an increasingly regional format, undercutting the influence of the minority ethnic groups, something we must work against as we approach another sinister attempt ahead the 2015 elections, lest we are left out of the equation again.”

The movement took exception to lumping all Northern Nigeria together and tending to ignore the precise interest of the small groups among the larger ones, noting: “The time has come for northern minorities to develop an understanding of their political power.

“There have been powerful and influential individuals from northern minority ethnic groups before, but under the satanic banner of ‘One North, One Destiny,’ or in the name of protecting the so-called ‘Northern interest,’ we the ethnic minorities have been used by the Hausa-Fulani to further their interests while we gain nothing.”

It contended that Nigeria could remain a strong and united nation if all ethnic groups enjoy fairness, as “ethnic and religious conflicts in Nigeria, especially in the North, are indicative of the quest by minorities for independence, empowerment, identity construction, and the fear of the majority of losing economic and political power, and cultural dominance.”