- Despite his unprecedented defeat in 2015, former President Goodluck Jonathan has continued to be a key political figure in Nigeria's politics
- In a twist of event, the APC which ousted Jonathan in 2015 is allegedly making moves to return him to power in 2023
- An APC chieftain who did not want his name mentioned confirmed the move, saying it was part of the north's plan to return to power in 2027
Ahead of the 2023 elections, there have been speculations that some All Progressives Congress (APC) leaders are considering fielding former President Goodluck Jonathan as the ruling party's presidential candidate.
Though Jonathan still remains a member of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) since his defeat in 2015, rumours flying around claim there have been moves to lure him to the APC.
Amid the speculations, Daily Trust in a report filed on Monday, September 6, stated that an APC chieftain whose name was not revealed claimed that Jonathan was approached to defect to the ruling party so he could pick the party’s presidential ticket to win the 2023 poll and hand over power to the North in 2027.
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Jonathan part of the north's permutation to return to power in 2027
Ahead of the 2023 elections, the south has been agitating for a power shift to the region.
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Southern political stakeholders said a gentleman pact was reached by APC leaders prior to the 2015 poll that the party would cede its apex ticket to their region after President Muhammadu Buhari's tenure.
However, the APC chieftain was cited as saying that some northern political stakeholders want Jonathan because he is the only southern politician that is not constitutionally allowed to do eight years again, having served his first term between 2011 and 2015.
According to the APC source, having Jonathan as the president in 2023 is the north's strategy to return to power in 2027.
The APC chieftain said northern political stakeholders were feeling cheated that the south had spent more years in the State House since the return to democracy in 1999.
By the end of 2023, the north would have spent 10 years in power while the south had already spent 14 years.
Another APC chieftain confirms interest in Jonathan
Meanwhile, Daily Trust reported that another chieftain of the APC, Barrister Abdullahi Jalo, confirmed that party leaders were working hard to move key political actors from the PDP including Jonathan.
He was quoted to have said:
“I left PDP for APC and he (Jonathan) is my leader, so I will be very glad to see him join the APC. I was working with him."
However, Mamman Mohammed, the media aide to the APC national caretaker chairman, Governor Mai Mala Buni, said he was not aware of the development.
A former deputy national publicity secretary of the APC, Yekini Nabena, was also quoted as saying “it is not an issue to discuss.”
Despite the recurrent speculations, Legit.ng notes that the APC has not formally asked Jonathan to take its ticket.
Similarly, the former president has not publicly declared interest in returning to the presidency despite reports linking him to the move.
PDP leaders visit Jonathan, beg him not to defect
Meanwhile, the perceived silence of former President Jonathan over the ordeals of the PDP has become a recipe for worry among party leaders.
This was reportedly why a delegation led by the acting national chairman of the opposition party, Yemi Akinwonmi, paid him a visit in Abuja on Tuesday, August 31.
Apart from informing Jonathan of the happenings in the party, the delegates, according to a source who spoke with The Punch, begged him not to abandon the opposition party.