2023 presidency: Confusion in APC as Goodluck Jonathan struggles to enter through party’s back door
Confusion is brewing in the ruling All Progressives Congress, especially, in its South-South and South-East zones over the sudden emergence of former President Goodluck Jonathan in the presidential race.
The N100 million nomination and expression of interest forms of the ruling party were reportedly bought for former President Jonathan by ‘Normadic Herders and Almajiris Community on Monday.
Although the Bayelsa-born politician came out to distance himself from the group and their forms, Jonathan, on the same evening, reportedly paid a visit to the National Chairman of the APC and former Nasarawa State Governor, Abdullahi Adamu, at his residence in Abuja.
Insiders confirmed that the former President was at Adamu’s residence to seek assurance of the party’s support before he decamps from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to APC and make his intention to return to the office again public.
While Jonathan was in the meeting with Adamu, sources privy to their discussions told DAILY POST that although the APC Chairman welcomed the former President to the ruling party, there was absolutely no assurance that he could be handed the party’s presidential ticket.
Adamu, however, assured the ex-Nigerian leader that there would be a level playing field for all aspirants on the party’s platform during the primaries if he declares.
However, many Nigerians believe that Jonathan or people very close to him actually purchased the forms to beat the deadline for the sale of forms by the APC which actually ended yesterday.
A source from the ruling party said, “Yes, the former President was here at night on Monday but there was absolutely no commitment from the party Chair.
“I’m aware that Jonathan has been doing some secret consultations among party bigwigs. He met Buhari at the Presidential Villa but I have no idea what the President told him,” the source said.
However, Jonathan’s entrant or what could be seen as appearing in the race for the APC Presidential ticket is reportedly shaking the foundation of the party as some aspirants from the South, especially the South-East and South-South are seeing the move as detrimental to their own aspiration.
“What I’m trying to say is that Adamu did not assure him on automatic consensus ticket. Jonathan was specifically at Adamu’s residence to seek assurance on his intention to pick the party’s ticket.
“That’s all I know for now and I can categorically tell you that Adamu welcomed Jonathan to our great party and made him understand that there’s a level playing ground for everyone.”
Another source said that Jonathan had earlier met with President Muhammadu Buhari, where he also sought assurance from the President. However, details of their meeting have remained speculative.
Many, among the 23 aspirants of the APC see Jonathan as a strong force and would easily claim the party’s ticket and are unhappy about the move as they also believe that the former President would shortchange the South, having only four years to preside over the country after which he returned power to the North.
Jonathan is at the moment causing anxiety among other aspirants such as former Governor of Rivers State, Rotimi Amaechi, who is widely seen as his political foe.
The Transportation Minister had declared his interest, picked his forms and has been on a nationwide consultation while the likes of Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipreye Sylva and Minister of Niger Delta Affairs Senator Godswill Akpabio are also said to be anxious about the development.
Prominent among aggrieved aspirants from the South East is the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, who is said to be a long term friend of President Buhari and Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige and the Governor of Ebonyi State.