By Our Correspondent
Hausa community resident in Cross River State, yesterday declared their support for all the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, candidates including Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan in the Saturday Presidential and National Assembly elections.
The position of the group was made known during an interactive town hall meeting with Governor Liyel Imoke, PDP candidates in Calabar and other leaders of the party.
Speaking on behalf of the Hausa community in the state, Alhaji Mudi Ibrahim said: “In our quest to exercise our constitutional rights during Saturday’s Presidential and National Assembly elections, voting for reliable, credible and dependable candidates is very vital. It was on this premise that in our deliberation with stakeholders, Your Excellency, we unanimously resolved that the entire Hausa Community in Cross River State will vote massively for Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan as President, come March 28, 2015.”
Continuing, he said: “We further resolved after a meticulous appraisal of the political antecedent of our governor, Senator Liyel Imoke, including the landmark achievements recorded over the past eight years, couple with his exemplary good governance, to vote Prof. Ben Ayade as governor, as well as all the candidates on the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) platform in the state.”
Also speaking on behalf of Hausa Community from the Central Zone of the state, Barrister Musa Maigoro, who was full of praise for Governor Imoke for the yearly sponsorship of members of the community to the Holy land, pointed out that “Since we are particularly concerned about our future and that of our children, we cannot but commend our governor, Senator Imoke for the show of goodwill and the massive transformation initiatives by Mr. President and vote to move Nigeria forward to better our lot and that of our children.”
Maigoro appealed to Imoke to, as a matter of utmost priority, consider the appointment of an Hausa person who will work in liaison with the people and draw the government closer to them saying: “The Hausa Community should be given adequate and commensurate recognition because since the inception of this democratic government in the state, the Hausa community has remained consistent and has not voted for any other party except the PDP and we feel we should be integrated accordingly.”
Responding, Governor Imoke said, “As a faithful party man, I have always stood by the party in whatever decision taken. When the party decided on Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, as a loyal party man, I mobilized the entire people of Cross River and cast our votes and he won. Again, it was the turn of President Yar’Adua of blessed memory, I took the entire party in the same way and delivered to President Yar’Adua. Just like today the party has decided that it is President Goodluck Jonathan, so as we are here gathered, we will collectively move together to deliver our party because I believe that this party is equitable, and the peace that we enjoy in our country today is because it is a PDP government.”
On alleged discrimination reported by the Hausa Community in the state, Imoke averred: “One of the things I pray should happen in this country is the abolition of that thing they call ‘certificate of origin’. I don’t like it and I don’t think it is something we should encourage in Nigeria. What we should encourage is certificate of residence as it is done in other developed countries which is very important. So all of you here should not be anything less than 100 percent Cross Riverian.”
Continuing Imoke noted: “Beyond reasonable doubt, I believe strongly that you all have played a very important role in the development of our community. An average person in this room is not dependent on government but contributing to government. You are doing your legitimate businesses, paying your taxes, training your children and other peoples’ children in schools all which is aimed at developing the community. We will ensure that you have a fair share of what rightly belongs to you.”
While lauding them for the tremendous support which the state has received from the community during the eight years of his administration, the governor stressed: “We will continue to sponsor Cross River Muslim residents to the Holy Land within the limit our resources because of the enormous benefits which follow such a spiritual exercise. It is very critical because, when they go there, they pray for us, pray for the peace and unity of the country, a prayer that has sustained us as a people and I promise I will appoint one of you who will represent your true voice at the state Executive Council before I bow out.”
“We need your support, so go back and tell your people that not only are we committed to working with you, I am assuring you that so long as you live in Cross River, your wives and children are entitled to our free healthcare program, the educational support and access to our poverty alleviation initiatives as well as the access to youth and women empowerment programs. You cannot and should not be denied these benefits.
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