2023: Cracks in Jonathan’s Field
Attempts by some stakeholders to drag former President Goodluck Jonathan into the 2023 presidential race on the government platform of the All-Progressive Congress (APC) have caused a sharp rift in his camp. reports “Dare Odufovokan, assistant editor.
Former President Goodluck Jonathan’s allies are sharply divided over an alleged conspiracy by some ruling leaders of the All-Progressive Congress (APC) to drag the former president into the 2023 presidential race on the platform of the ruling party. The people realized that while Jonathan had yet to make a decision about the alleged pressure on him from AKN leaders, many of his prominent allies were reportedly already working with the conspirators in preparation for the 2023 elections. Precisely because a good number of his associates also made it clear that he would not support him if he left the opposition People’s Democratic Party (NDP).
While the ruling party’s leadership denies it wants to nominate Jonathan as the next presidential candidate, sources within the party told The Nation that some APC governors are actually playing out the idea of supporting the former president’s return in 2023 on the platform. party. It was believed that many of Jonathan’s associates would transfer to the ruling party as part of a plan to promote his emergence as the party’s presidential candidate in 2023. One of the APC governors may also be supported to become a candidate for the party, according to sources. vice president of the party.
“The plan is to involve Jonathan and back him as a presidential candidate with an agreement that he will only have one term and allow the authorities to return north. According to the constitution, he cannot apply for the next term. Thus, his choice was promoted by some northern governors and AKN leaders as a way to suppress the zoning campaign, as well as end the presidential ambitions of a particular southerner. Many meetings have been held on this topic, and although the former president has not yet agreed on the plan, there are strong reasons to believe that he may consider the proposal and eventually join APC.
“As part of these steps, it is expected that some of the former president’s associates will soon leave the NDP and join the agro-industrial complex. Once that starts to happen, you should know that the deal has been struck and Jonathan will come to try and get his party card until 2023, our source said, adding that, and to make things easier, the APC, influenced by the governors, has changed its rules to allow newcomers to the party to compete for tickets. The move is part of a strategy to soften the ground for Jonathan and others who may become APC defectors. ”
The former president’s body language has also changed, according to political observers, after talk of a possible return to the presidency in 2023 gained momentum. When asked recently by reporters if he would join the presidential race in 2023, he said it was “too early to talk about it.” Analysts also pointed to the expansion of relations between the former president and President Muhammadu Bukhari, as well as the lukewarm relationship he maintains with the leadership of the NDP, as signs of what could happen in the coming of 2023.
Sources said the group, led by an ally of the former president, who is also the head of APC in Bayelsa state, is already working with promoters of ideas on how to manage the project. The parties reportedly met several times to discuss terms. “The APC governors want the campaign to start in the south and south, where Jonathan’s base is. He should be transported to other parts of the south before they support him in the north, as agreed. They also assured us that they would convince APC to give the 2023 presidential ticket to the former president. Many people and groups will be part of it all, “- said our source.
The nation concluded that as part of a conspiracy to sell the former president’s candidacy, campaigning would be unleashed in its area and beyond for the South-South to nominate a candidate who would complete his second term in 2023. to get South-South residents to view this project as their own, and also to address zoning elements across the country. Jonathan was denied a second term in 2015, and accordingly South-South is now the only territory not allowed to rule for eight years. This is what we intend to use by selling his candidacy, “added our source.
But Yobe State Gov. Mai Mala Buni, who is also chairman, head of the APC and the Congressional Planning Committee, said the party is not judging Jonathan for the 2023 presidential race on his platform. He added that the visit of the AKN leaders to Jonathan was intended only to congratulate him on his birthday and to honor his memory as the former leader of Nigeria. However, he said the party is open to people willing to join, noting that its committee’s efforts have attracted many prominent opposition figures to the PCA, such as Ebony State Governor Dave Umahi.
For his part, Jonathan recently reacted to the rumors when he said he was still in the PDP. In his words: “The NDP was a very friendly party. I am a member of the NDP and from the very beginning until today I know that it was a very friendly party. The NDP is a party that attracts everyone, and we must extend it to Bayelsa state. “
But the alleged conspiracy, especially indications that it is being promoted primarily by the northern European leaders of the ruling party, is not perceived in the same way by supporters of the former president. While The Nation has concluded that some of its allies are already working as a group to push the idea forward and get Jonathan to switch to APC when the time is right, some close aides to the former governor have objected to the conspiracy, warning the former. The president needs to be wary of those who insist on him. According to credible sources, many of them have been Jonathan’s campaign coordinators in the past.
For a week, supporters of the former president, under the auspices of the government coordinators of the Goodluck Jonathan Support Group (GJSG), urged him to avoid all pleas “designed to induce him to give up his political place, which is the NDP, and start in danger – the uncertainty of the ruling party.” … The group, speaking after a meeting in Port Harcourt, the capital of Rivers State, reiterated its previous threat to end support for Jonathan if he leaves the NDP in favor of APC. “We want to reiterate that as loyal PDP members, we will not go after anyone at APC just because we love them,” said GJSG.
It became known in the country that the meeting of the coordinators was convened due to fears that rumors about negotiations between Jonathan and some of the APC governors may be true. According to the chairman of the coordinators, Hon. Alfred Emiloy Esomijumi: “We have worked hard to sort out the rumors, and we are not sure if they are all lies. Every day we get indications that something may be happening behind the scenes, and therefore we found it important to quickly voice our opinion and state our position on the political drama.
“It’s not for fun that some of the people we see as leaders in the former president’s camp will favor the ruling party over ours on some issues. It is not even a coincidence that some of the people who left us in the past now regularly visit some of our leaders. We waited long enough for someone to clarify all these events, but nothing was done. We remain firmly committed to Dr. Jonathan’s policies as he remains a leader who has yet to reach equals in this country. But we will not sacrifice our loyalty to our beloved party for the sake of our love for his leadership and his personality. “
In addition, Comrade Zeke Gbemre, national coordinator of the Coalition for Peace in the Niger Delta, wants Jonathan to pay attention to the many proposals coming in ahead of the 2023 presidential election. “He is a citizen of this country with all the rights to vote and to be elected in the presidential elections in 2023. He still has the opportunity to participate in the elections, since he ruled for only one term. However, if I were Goodluck Jonathan, I would not tolerate pressure from the North or anything else to run again. Knowing what politics are being played in Nigeria may just be an attempt to further undermine its image.
“Jonathan achieved a lot when he calmly admitted defeat and accepted the results of the 2015 presidential election. What else does Jonathan want to achieve? That Jonathan was unable to succeed after almost six years as President of Nigeria? Jonathan should be very careful not to accept any Greek gifts from anyone or any other geopolitical region in the country, ”he said.
But on Thursday, another group of Jonathan’s supporters, in a statement signed by Comrade Godknows Kpodoh, criticized Esomijumi and his group for their position on the issue, calling him and others along with him “impostors who want to end the constant march. our leader. political leadership. Kpodoh said his group, President Goodluck Jonathan’s Coalition (CPGJ), “unlike the GJSG, is well known and recognized by Jonathan and his associates throughout the country.” We will support Jonathan wherever he goes. This is the hope of this country and We young people will not join hands at this crucial moment. It’s a pity that some impostors have already been paid to stop this constant march, ”he complained.
The nation also found out that some of the former president’s allies, unhappy with certain events and determined to do everything possible to prevent any plan from Jonathan to switch sides before the 2023 election, cautiously invited some NDP leaders to visit the former president. in Abuja recently. The immediate former President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki, brought the influential NDP reconciliation committee to the meeting. The visit aims to draw ranks closer, bridge differences and strive for consolidation, as the intrigues surrounding the 2023 general elections unfold, the committee said.
The trip also included former governors of the states of Gombe, Katsina and Cross River; Ibrahim Dankvambo, Ibrahim Shema and Liel Imoke respectively. Others – the former secretary of the Federation government, Senator Anim Pius Anyim; and former House Leader Mulikat Adeola-Akande. Sources told our reporter that PDP leaders used the interview opportunity to persuade Jonathan to ignore all of the APC’s requests, as it would not be politically in his favor.
Meanwhile, whether the meeting finally ended with speculation about what the former president would do remains to be seen.
Source: – The Nation