There are indications that some top members of the two major political parties in the country-the PDP and the APC- may be contemplating the option of adopting a former president, Dr Goodluck Jonathan to fly their flag ahead of the 2023 presidential election.
Those who are considering Jonathan are, however, mainly northerners. Also, those in this school of thought are more in the APC. It was learnt that PDP top shots from the south-south are not too keen about the idea of the return of Jonathan.
TNN learnt that some top APC chieftains, including people considered to be very close to President Muhammadu Buhari, have been talking with Jonathan and working hard to clear the road for the APC to consider the former president as candidate of the party.
A source close to Jonathan confided in TNN saying “I can tell you that the APC people are still reaching out to Mr (former) president. They have been calling and visiting. But oga is not carried away by the pressure.
“They are more of northerners. In fact, one of the groups actually said they were coming on the authority of The Presidency because, according to them, they believe oga(Jonathan) is a more reliable person from the south who will do only four years and then power will return to the north again.”
It was also gathered that some serving governors and ministers are the ones pushing for Jonathan to be considered for the APC ticket. Only last week, there was a social media post that showed a combination of Jonathan and the minister for justice, Mr Abubakar Malami, SAN, as presidential and vice presidential candidates respectively.
Our source said part of the discussions between Jonathan and Buhari have been hinged on the 2023 Presidency project. Jonathan has been visiting The Villa more frequently.
TNN learnt that Jonathan has not been pushy on the project. He was said to have told his close associates that he was not in a hurry to consider the calls for him to run until he got a clearer picture, an assurance that he would get a total support of the APC top echelon and a reassurance that he would not fail if he decided to contest.
One source told TNN that “the worst thing that could happen to Goodluck will be for him to accept to run and then at the end of the day, he does not win the election. So, if the man is foot-dragging, it is in order. He has to be sure that he would have enough structures and the support of those structures to give him victory at the end of the day.”
Jonathan’s spokesman, Ikechukwu would not want to comment on the issue. But another close aide of the former president told TNN that it was some APC leaders that were chasing Jonathan and discussing about the issue of his candidacy, but that Jonathan himself remained a core member of the PDP.
Already, some persons from the south-south have started campaigning for the return of power to the region. One of those currently campaigning under this umbrella said in a statement that the only fair thing that Nigerians could do was for power to return to the south-south in 2023.
The lecturer, Dr P.W.Igbagara said “between 1999 and now, there was an unwritten agreement, for peace to reign, that political power must rotate between the North and South. This democratic agreement, either written or unwritten, is made prevalent in all political arrangements across the world. It was not to rotate amongst the ethnic nationalities because, whereas the North has ten ethnic nationalities, the South has fourteen. The South ruled via Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, between 1999 and 2007 (8 years). The North followed suit via President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua ( 2007-2010). Unfortunately, with the demise of President Yar’Adua, his deputy Dr. Goodluck Jonathan won a pan-Nigerian mandate, and ruled between 2011 and 2015.
“A northerner, President Muhammadu Buhari won in 2015 and will rule till 2023 (8 years). It is, therefore, the turn of the South to rule for 4 years to complete their two terms, before moving political power to the North. And since Dr. Goodluck Jonathan had ruled between 2011 and 2015, it is imperative and logical for the South South to complete its four years before returning political power to the North.
“We are therefore very constant about our position that after President Buhari, political power must return to the South South for us to complete our eight years. It is our inalienable right to demand for what belongs to us. And the fulcrum of the pendulum is our son, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, former President of Nigeria. We are not particularly interested in any political party but anywhere he goes, we will go provided our ultimate objective is actualised. As producers of the resource that sustains the rest of the country, we insist that we must decide the balance of advantage in the country. Our group questions why the South South geo-political zone blessed with the best of hydrocarbons by God which provide more than 90 per cent of Nigeria’s foreign exchange earnings should be inhabited by the poorest mendicants.
“This group is therefore a child of events and circumstances, a philosophic construct which must insist that we complete our remaining four year term between 2023 and 2027 before the power goes back to the North in May 2027.
“We believe in One-Nigeria. Our deposition will be uncompromising on matters of national unity, deepening of our democracy and for the public good. We invite all people of goodwill and conscience to join us in this noble and patriotic effort aimed at extricating Nigeria and her people from this maze of social conflicts.
“For, these are the immortal tenets we believe in: the defense of justice and fairness; the promotion of peace, national unity and development. To these, we are wholly committed; to these, we are fully dedicated. This mission alone, it is our courageous conviction, will yield the anticipated renaissance we long for our people and the nation. This is our word. And our bond.”
However, his position is being rubbished by a certain Dr. Amos Ighorodje who believe that Jonathan was not the right person to rule Nigeria after Buhari.
He said in a statement that Jonathan was to blame for the nation’s current woes “because we all knew he wasn’t capable to be a president like Jonathan himself. Jonathan gave the presidency to Buhari effortlessly, and even many politicians were falling over themselves to finance his campaigns with billions of naira.
Jonathan killed Nigeria. He was a pretender, no innate wisdom. He put all of us today in this mess. In fact, he disgraced us the southerners with his clamour for power and money without any political sense whatsoever.”
TNN learnt on Friday that although a greater percentage of the people currently campaigning secretly for Jonathan were APC members of northern extraction, some people from the PDP were also looking towards his direction for leadership.