By Akinwande Soji-Ojo
Former President Goodluck Jonathan has rejected the N100 million All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential expression of interest and nomination forms bought for him to contest the 2023 presidential election by nomadic Fulani pastoralists and Almajiri communities.
Jonathan’s Media Adviser, Mr Ikechukwu Eze, in a statement on Monday evening, said it was an insult for the community to buy the forms for him without his consent.
Jonathan was reacting to the earlier purchase of the APC presidential forms bought for him to contest the party’s ticket for the 2023 presidential election.
“It has come to our notice that a group has purportedly purchased Presidential Expression of Interest and Nomination forms of the 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,” Eze said.
He, however, expressed appreciation for the overwhelming request by a cross-section of Nigerians for Jonathan to make himself available for the 2023 presidential election,stressing that the former president had not in any way committed himself to the request.
“Buying a presidential aspiration form in the name Dr Jonathan without his consent, knowing the position he had held in this country, is considered an insult to his person.
“The general public is therefore advised to disregard it,” Eze said.
Malam Ibrahim Abdullahi, leader of the nomadic Fulani pastoralists and Almajiri communities, had earlier told newsmen after picking the forms that Jonathan should be re-elected to enable him to complete what he began.
“My name is Ibrahim Abdullahi, I represent two of the most vulnerable communities in our country, the nomadic pastoralists and the almajiri communities.
“We have decided to purchase this form for our former president, Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, to come back and rule this country and continue with the good work he started,” he said.
Among other things, he said Jonathan was the first president since the country gained independence in 1960 that found it expedient, through his magnanimity, to remember the almajiri community.