Several groups, under the aegis of the Goodluck Support Group, GSG, said on Tuesday that it is in the interest of Nigeria and Nigerians that the transformation of the country embarked upon by President Goodluck Jonathan should continue beyond 2015.
They asked the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to nominate the president as its presidential candidate.
This was contained in a communiqué issued after the first national summit of the groups in Abuja.
According to the communiqué, the groups are over 7,000.
The event was attended by some prominent politicians, including Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State, a former National Chairman of the PDP, Ahmadu Ali, a former Deputy Senate President, Ibrahim Mantu, a former Information Minister, Jerry Gana, and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Pius Anyim, who was the special guest of honour.
The Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters, Rufa’i Alkali, had recently set up an 11-member Committee to evaluate all the groups, both in Nigeria and abroad, with a view to harmonising their activities.
The panel in its report pruned the number of the groups to 7,000.
The groups, in the communiqué signed by its leaders, patrons and directors said “after a careful review of the performance of President Goodluck Jonathan, GCFR and the current development condition of our country,” they resolved that since the president had performed well it was in the interest of Nigeria and Nigerians that he continued in office.
The groups asked Mr. Jonathan to “step forward and contest the 2015 Presidential Election.”
They added that “as Leaders and Representatives of the over 7,000 organizations with over 80 million membership, we do hereby affirm our loyalty and unqualified support for President Goodluck Jonathan and undertake to deliver a resolution to the President giving full effect to this communiqué.”
Earlier, Mr. Alkali, who is the National Coordinator of GSG, said the summit was organised to promote a pan-Nigerian approach as individual groups to go out to canvass support for Mr. Jonathan.
“This Summit is not just another jamboree but a platform to create synergy and a productive interface among all support groups who are working towards the same goal,” he said.
“It is an opportunity for Nigerians across the country to strengthen the bonds of unity and publicly showcase those time honoured values that bind us together.”
Mr. Alkali said in spite of some challenges existing in some parts of the country today, the larger framework of Nigeria being a united, strong and prosperous country remained unshaken.
He added that the presence of Nigerians from all walks of life, the young and the old, men and women, from the North and from the South, across the ethnic and religious divides and across the economic strata was an overwhelming vote of confidence in the unparalleled quality of leadership of the president.
According to him, “Mr President has, in his leadership style encouraged the integration of the entire country in order to instil the philosophy of “Nigeria first”.
“This summit has therefore been organized to promote a pan-Nigerian approach as individual groups go out to canvass support for him.
“President Goodluck Jonathan is a nationwide icon. He is at home in every single community across the length and breadth of Nigeria. The presence here of participants from every nook and cranny of the country bears ample testimony to this fact.”