By; BALA B. BITRUS, Minna
The Fulani ethnic extractions in Niger State under various umbrella bodies have thrown their support to Peoples Democratic Party’s, (PDP) governorship candidate in next year’s election, Umar Mohammemd Nasko just as they pledged to work on their members for the party’s victory in next year’s general elections.
The Fulanis from the three senatorial zones, under the auspices of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, (MACBAN), Niger state branch, said at a parley with the PDP’s governorship flag bearer, Umar Mohammed Nasko, that they had parted ways with the governing All Progressive Congress in the state over persistent failures to address their needs nor had the state government impacted anywhere to their benefits.
The Fulanis in their hundreds, at an event hosted by the Umar Nasko gubernatorial campaign organization, held at the PDP secretariat along the Three Arms Zone of the Eastern by pass in Minna, the state capital, expressed their pains, frustrations and marginalisation under the present APC led administration in the state.
Chairman of MACBAN in the state, Diko Shakolo who led other sub group and zonal leaders such as Ibrahim Lapai from Zone ‘A’, Hashimu Rebé from zone ‘B’ and Abubakar Addau from zone ‘C’ and a representative of Women, Fatima Bello, all concurred with the position of the Chairman of MACBAN.
They noted that the over three and half years of the All Progressive Congress led government has largely been pains and sufferings inflicted on Fulani speaking extraction living in parts of the state.
They therefore expressed support to the governorship aspiration of Nasko under the PDP and pledged their support and loyalty to the party to ensure its success in all elections including the presidential, National Assembly, governorship and the state House of Assembly elections.
At the gathering which was akin to a ceremony to receive decampees into the PDP, the association’s zonal leaders took turns to assure the PDP and it’s governorship candidate, Umar Nasko and other flag bearers of the party of their unwaivering loyalty and support in next year’s general election.
Diko Shakolo pointed out that Fulani ethnic nationalities have had a brighter prospects under the sixteen years of PDP rule but that their conditions and statuses have been dwindling since the change of government over three and half years ago.
“When the PDP was in power, our children were going to school. Our animals were receiving free doses of regular vaccinations against diseases from the state government. Beside all these, we had our say in the previous governments” he recalled with pains.
He said “this APC administration has failed to recognise us nor provide any incentive to us”
Umar Nasko while addressing the Fulani people, assured all the Fulani communities across Niger state that when he is elected as governor, all the Fulani ethnic stock would be adequately represented in his government.
He assured them of a slot in the state cabinet as against the Special Adviser they had in the last PDP led administration. “You will get a slot for a commissioner” he assured them.
The PDP gubernatorial ticket holder also assured the Fulanis that all the moribund nomadic schools that were opened across the state by the last PDP government but were now prostate, would be revamped for uptimal use.
He tasked them to obtain the permanent voters card, (PVC) and safeguard it well. He reminded them that it is only with the voter’s card that the desired change in government could be effected.
The Niger state PDP gubernatorial standard bearer appealed to the Fulanis and other eligible voters in the state who were yet to get their PVCs to go to the Independent National Electoral Commission to collect their own.
Niger state Chairman of the PDP, Barrister Tanko Beji, while speaking at the occasion, applauded the Fulanis for endorsing Umar Nasko and the PDP.
He noted that the Fulanis had made the right decision adding that it was a positive signal for the party ahead of the general elections.
“With this support, we are sure of getting a large chunk of votes from the Fulanis who are known to be straight forward and frank in all their decisions” he said.