President Hinges Nigeria’s Unity On Confab
• As Arewa, Bafarawa Endorse Jonathan For 2015
NOT even the heat from the scorching sun and the long distance, which they had to traverse could stop them. They came from far and near in their thousands and the message of speaker after speaker at the rally was clear: the Arewa Community in the entire 17 Southern states of the country had resolved to vote en masse for President Goodluck Jonathan come March 28 Presidential election.
Citing Jonathan’s transformation agenda, which has endeared him to Northerners in the last four years, the group, Arewa Initiative for Peaceful Co-Existence in Southern Nigeria, under the chairmanship of former Sokoto State Governor Attahiru Bafarawa, decided ‘after a careful soul search that he is the best man for the job.’
Jonathan, who was personally present at the well-attended rally in company of the Director-General of the Goodluck Jonathan Campaign Organisation and former National Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Dr. Ahmadu Alli, host Delta State Governor, Senator Roland Owie, former Col. Bello Fadile prominent Arewa leaders from the 17 Southern states, hinged the real unity of the country on the National Confab as the full implementation of the report is the only true way of effecting a peaceful change in the affairs of the country.
Going by the Hausa music, which echoed from the speaker, the overwhelming presence of Nigerians from the Northern part of the country who were decked in flowing gown and the hijab observing women at the venue of the rally and the carnival atmosphere, one was almost tempted to conclude that the setting was Northern Nigeria and not Asaba.
Making a veiled reference to members of the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC), who boycotted the National Confab, Jonathan wondered how the party could truly effect the change, which is its campaign slogan.
He said: “A full implementation of the Confab Report is the only thing that can bring an enduring change.
We must work together to restore peace and should not allow politicians to divide us on the basis of ethnicity and religion. PDP believes in one Nigeria. Nigeria is a great country because of the diversity of the people, religion and geography.”
The President promised that he would ensure the enactment of an anti-discrimination law against non-indigenes if he wins the election.
He said that he is an ardent believer in a one, indivisible Nigeria and was the reason why he established schools for almajiris and supported the establishment of nine universities in the Northern part of the country out of the 12 recently set up by the Federal Government.
He told the crowd: “I am not somebody who discriminates against other Nigerians. I am somebody who believes in Nigeria. God could have decided to place me in Zamfara or Sokoto or Oyo but He decided to place me in Bayelsa. While I was governor of Bayelsa State, I sponsored Muslims on holy pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia even though the state is overwhelmingly Christian.”
Jonathan said that it was cause for concern that a Nigerian born in America acquires American citizenship while his compatriot born in another part of his own country is not regarded as an indigene.
Bafarawa said that he was speaking from the bottom of his heart and was utterly convinced that Jonathan meant well for Northerners by his conduct; and that, for the sake of peaceful co-existence, he deserves their vote, as he is undoubtedly the best bet for them in 2015.
The duo of Alhaji Danlami Isah, the association’s Zonal Chairma South West and Alhaji Gidado Sadiq, Sarkin Fulani, Anambra State, read out the endorsement speech, imploring the over 10 million northerners living in the southern part of Nigeria to turn out and vote for Jonathan.
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