There are indications that the presidential candidate of the PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar may have lost the support of a former president, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, ahead of the February 2023 general elections.
Atiku has visited Jonathan a number of times to seek his support towards his election. Penultimate week, he had sent his running mate and governor of Delta State, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa to Jonathan to also beg for his support.
In the delegation also were other PDP chieftains like a former governor of Cross River State, Senator Liyel Imoke, Senator Gershom Bassey of Cross River Southern Senatorial District who is also a key player in the Atiku campaign organisation and many others.
While Okowa was talking, it was very clear that Jonathan was simply playing along. His mood was sombre throughout the period of Okowa’s speech.
As he was listening to Okowa sermonise about how Atiku needed his support to be able to win, Jonathan must have reflected on what Atiku did to him, part of which the Rivers State governor brought to the fore recently-how Atiku fought against Jonathan’s re-election in 2015.
Wike had said that “in Dorchester hotel (London), he (Jonathan) went to plead with this our presidential candidate today, Atiku Abubakar, to say, please, my brother, come back to the party and support me.
“You know the condition they gave to Jonathan, he should relinquish his ticket not to run as president of Nigeria. That was a sitting president and presidential candidate of a ruling party.”
Again, in 2019, Atiku had mounted the rostrum to mock Jonathan as he was canvassing for votes to become president. He had told Nigerians that he was proud to have played a role in the removal of Jonathan from office and urged voters to repeat same feat in 2019 by voting against President Muhmmadu Buhari.
He had said that “the reasons we have elections is to allow us to have our voices heard on how we have been governed for the last four years and who will govern us for the next four years,” Atiku said.
“On March 28, 2015, we the people of Nigeria went to our polling units armed only without PVCs and yet we were able to remove an incumbent president (Jonathan) from office. That made me very proud to be a Nigerian and a democrat.”
Sources told TNN that Jonathan has had to remind himself of what Atiku did to him in 2015, especially after Wike brought it to the public again, a few weeks ago.
For Senator Bola Ahmed Tinumbu, it is becoming public knowledge, that Jonathan will not support his aspiration largely because of the muslim-muslim presidential ticket. Only recently, Jonathan had spoken about this during a book presentation in Abuja.
Jonathan had said that “when I took over as the vice president, the tradition then was that if the President were a Christian, the Vice would be a Muslim and vice versa. “We have religious festivals in Nigeria and, of course, National Day, where there will be Jummah prayers and Christian prayers.
“Nigerians are religious people, this is why I get worried about the issues of Muslim-Muslim or Christian-Christian ticket. Yes, Muslim-Muslim or Christian-Christian can run the state. But I always ask, ‘who will represent this other bloc whenever we come to the national days that we celebrate?”