Reports are rife that Goodluck Ebele Jonathan is being lobbied to join the much-talked-about 2023 presidential election. If for any reason the former Nigerian president bows to the mounting pressure, one among some serving Nigerian governors stands a chance to emerge as his running mate.
At least five of these governors, all from the northern region, are bigwigs of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and have their names ringing with presidential ambition among other Nigerian politicians who are eyeing the seat of power come 2023.
Below is a list of these governors:
1. Governor Nasir El-Rufai
The Kaduna state governor, no doubt, enjoys the friendship of President Muhammadu Buhari and wields enormous powers both in the region and in the ruling party.
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In fact, on more than one occasion, posters of Governor El-Rufai and some APC heavyweights like his Ebonyi counterpart, Dave Umahi, Adams Oshiomhole, and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo for 2023 polls have flooded the street of Kaduna, although the governor has distanced himself from such.
2. Governor Yahaya Bello
Described by a number of political analysts as one of the president's proteges, the Kogi governor basks in the glory of being urged by many young Nigerians to go ahead and declare his interest in the forthcoming contest.
As reported by Premium Times earlier in August, the governor, though a devout Muslim, got major support from a Christian group, Christian Youth Leadership Network, in an ambition which he is yet to make public.
3. Governor Babagana Zulum
Zulum's laudable efforts to contain the activities of insurgents in the northeast state of Borno have given him away as a worthy leader who may not need much campaign if he decides to run for the presidency.
In fact, at a time when terrorism was at its peace in the state, Guardian reported that the governor/professor got into a sort of misunderstanding with the military in which he accused the Nigerian Army of lacking the zeal to defeat Boko Haram.
4. Governor Abdullahi Ganduje
Unruffled by the bribery allegation in the run-up to the 2019 gubernatorial election in Kano, Governor Ganduje is regarded as one of the powerful allies of Aso Rock power brokers and as such, will not have a hard time getting to the presidency with a well-planned and executed groundwork.
5. Governor Bello Masari
What and who can stand in the way of President Buhari's own kinsman who holds sway in Katsina state if he agrees to join other contestants in the battle for power?
Governor Masari is currently the chairman of the northwest region and is among top politicians from the geopolitical zone who are in the president's good books.
2023: Anxiety in PDP as APC reportedly woos Jonathan with presidential ticket
Meanwhile, following the agitation for shifting of the presidency to the south after the expiration of President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023, the main opposition was reportedly facing a hard time after it lost some of its governors to the APC.
Some high-ranking members of the ruling party who pleaded anonymity informed Legit.ng's regional reporter, Nasir Dambatta that political kingmakers in APC have reportedly resolved to offer the party's 2023 presidential ticket to Jonathan.
The sources said that the party's acting national chairman and governor of Yobe state, Mai Mala Buni, the minister of justice, Abubakar Malami and Jigawa state governor, Badaru Abubakar, were said to be fighting fiercely to grab the slot of presidential running mate.